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Anarch domains: why official supplements ignore them?

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  • #16
    Doylist: Because sometimes having all the options causes a lack of direction and confusion; the Camarilla offers a good base to build your city on with just the right amount of boundries to stop you going off the rails; choice and freedom can be a burden on it's own: Look up the "overchoice effect". Anarchs let players anmd the storyteller play around with paths and encourages them to play weird bloodlines, but that can get in the way of a tightly crafted game with more relatable characters.


    Watsonian: Because Anarch domains are logically few. Anarchs can't be strongly defined by anything more than "vampire groups opposed to a prince". In most cases, the quiet majority of "Anarchs" are just Camarilla with a few disagreements. The Vocal minority of Anarchs that rail hard against authority are dysfunctional fools who aren't likely to gain significant holdings. In the rare instances that radicals do gain significant holdings, the surrounding powers will do their best to undermine and disrupt such a rule; a well functioning anarch state is a threat to the concept of princedom, and given the power of Camarilla-in-groups vs the power of the types that can't make it in the Camarilla, it's unsurprising that the anarchs come out on the bottom all the time.


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    • #17
      My guess is that between the SI wiping them out (I'm pretty sure that the anarchs account for the majority of SI kills) and the fact that anarchs are, at their core, a bunch of fucking idiots who are only good at farting out slogans without actually having the competence to manage a domain, most of the "anarch" domains are probably held by former camarilla ancillae that decided to strike on their own and gain more power using the anarchs as easily manipulated cannon fodder so aside from a few, largely cosmetic changes, I would guess that a successful anarch domain wouldn't be that different from a camarilla one.

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      • #18
        It could be interesting to see what the writers would do with a new Berlin by Night, given its background.

        Originally posted by Microcuchon View Post
        So many posts here reflect how little people know about anarchism as a political philosophy....
        1. It doesn't really matter if would be anarchists need money or hunting grounds. Anarchism is a political philosophy and its main point is the abolition of hierarchy. Any way to organise the resources according to this principle is ok.
        2. Anarchism is not dependent on people being equal. There will always be stronger, wiser or cleverer people. Anarchism is based on the WILL to cooperate and not dominate. Can human do It? Can vampires? Well, as someone mentioned in a different posts, vampires are fictional beings and the only definitive truths about them are the stories and themes we want to tell (or play)
        3. Organization and hierarchy are not the same. People can organise very efficiently in non hierarchical ways, and some have even proved effective even for military purposes. So the Anarchs could have their society.

        For a fictional setting with functional anarchist societies I strongly recommend the RPG Eclipse Phase. But that's a game made by developers who actually understood anarchism and not guya who equated it to bikers in leather
        The Camarilla fosters antagnonism between characters e.g. the plucky neonates and the draconian prince. Would anarchist Anarchs have equivalent conflicts? I don't know what Eclipse Phase is, but I found this list at the end of a guide and maybe some of these could be translated into a VtM Anarch story:

        "What Are Some Problems an Anarchist Hab Might Face?

        Anarchists have some good ideas on how to do things, but no system is perfect. Everyone has flaws and some people will always find ways to exploit loopholes. Here’s a short list of some possibilities:
        • Assholes and sociopaths
        • Informal hierarchies that become entrenched
        • Parasites and slackers
        • Hab-hopping offenders
        • Manipulative people who accumulate social capital and abuse it
        • Cliques
        • Xenophobia
        • Lack of accountability
        • Collective proccesses that become overtly bureaucratic
        • People that game/hack rep networks
        • Factional disputes, infighting, and splits
        • Issues incorporating non-anarchists
        • Rare and scarce resources
        • Sabotage or even outright attacks from hostile factions
        • The spread of misinformation and paranoia
        • Collective discussions bogging down and taking forever"

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Spencer from The Hills View Post
          It could be interesting to see what the writers would do with a new Berlin by Night, given its background.



          The Camarilla fosters antagnonism between characters e.g. the plucky neonates and the draconian prince. Would anarchist Anarchs have equivalent conflicts? I don't know what Eclipse Phase is, but I found this list at the end of a guide and maybe some of these could be translated into a VtM Anarch story:

          "What Are Some Problems an Anarchist Hab Might Face?

          Anarchists have some good ideas on how to do things, but no system is perfect. Everyone has flaws and some people will always find ways to exploit loopholes. Here’s a short list of some possibilities:
          • Assholes and sociopaths
          • Informal hierarchies that become entrenched
          • Parasites and slackers
          • Hab-hopping offenders
          • Manipulative people who accumulate social capital and abuse it
          • Cliques
          • Xenophobia
          • Lack of accountability
          • Collective proccesses that become overtly bureaucratic
          • People that game/hack rep networks
          • Factional disputes, infighting, and splits
          • Issues incorporating non-anarchists
          • Rare and scarce resources
          • Sabotage or even outright attacks from hostile factions
          • The spread of misinformation and paranoia
          • Collective discussions bogging down and taking forever"
          Every anarchist worth their salt understands anarchy is not an utopian state without conflicts or full of perfectly boring and well behaved people. Actually, it can be argued that idealistic view of anarchism is as much anti anarchist propaganda as the view that makes an anarchist society a living hell where everyone is fighting everyone all the time (LA by Night). It's just a different, and hopefully better, way to deal with human nature.
          So yes, you can run a lot of different and interesting stories in an Anarch domain. We only need authors that understand the topic at hand.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Microcuchon View Post

            Every anarchist worth their salt understands anarchy is not an utopian state without conflicts or full of perfectly boring and well behaved people. Actually, it can be argued that idealistic view of anarchism is as much anti anarchist propaganda as the view that makes an anarchist society a living hell where everyone is fighting everyone all the time (LA by Night). It's just a different, and hopefully better, way to deal with human nature.
            So yes, you can run a lot of different and interesting stories in an Anarch domain. We only need authors that understand the topic at hand.
            It sounds very difficult to write about a flawed, but more desirable alternative society. Perhaps this is why some sci-fi productions tend to be so unaspirational: one problem that we don't have is scarier than the problems that we take for granted in real life.

            God knows how we'd get this without the community calling it both woke and reactionary. Maybe it's a matter of presenting Anarchs as villains first, but with redeeming features, like the Technocracy.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Microcuchon View Post
              So many posts here reflect how little people know about anarchism as a political philosophy....
              1. It doesn't really matter if would be anarchists need money or hunting grounds. Anarchism is a political philosophy and its main point is the abolition of hierarchy. Any way to organise the resources according to this principle is ok.
              2. Anarchism is not dependent on people being equal. There will always be stronger, wiser or cleverer people. Anarchism is based on the WILL to cooperate and not dominate. Can human do It? Can vampires? Well, as someone mentioned in a different posts, vampires are fictional beings and the only definitive truths about them are the stories and themes we want to tell (or play)
              3. Organization and hierarchy are not the same. People can organise very efficiently in non hierarchical ways, and some have even proved effective even for military purposes. So the Anarchs could have their society.

              For a fictional setting with functional anarchist societies I strongly recommend the RPG Eclipse Phase. But that's a game made by developers who actually understood anarchism and not guya who equated it to bikers in leather
              This is because Anarchs are related to the Anarchy as a British period (meaning "without rule") of history and predates anarchism (small a) as a philosophy.


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

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              • #22
                Well. I think Anarchs should be, by V5, pretty much the most common or populous; simply because kind of every vampire is Embraced in ""Anarch"", especially since Camarilla no longer takes every single vamp as their own. The difference between autarkis, independent and anarch sometimes eludes me, but I assume when someone calls you Anarch it is by the political movement in the Kindred world, not of this social state your in, like autarkis I think is kind of just anti-sect or simply an independent body. Either way, I agree we don't get more than bits of any Anarch night by night situation, and those we get aren't good.

                Even though V5s Anarchs book disappoints by lack of tangible material it does show that the "sect" is like a hot pot of spices and flavors. It is not that they don't have rules or societies , they simply are unique in each city and region. We could call the Old Clan Tzimisce domains of Romania de facto Anarchs in a way. And there are cities where vampiric society is almost a Sabbat vampirism-idolatry (there is a chapter in the Anarch book about a city where regularly Kindred gather and beat the shit out of each other in games, just to celebrate immortality).

                But most especially, I would say it kind of is a playground. Problem is the company isn't giving us tangible tools and examples, so it is lackluster to say the least. Most of all I think we would see either a commune-type of city, a gang-turf city, a dictatorial city, or a cultful city. The latter I think is one of the most interesting, cuz you can have a Bahari cult wrestling with the Church of Set, only for the Cult of Mithras come in avidly, and then Packs of Nodist arrive to put gasoline into the flames!!
                While gang-turfs I believe are what we mostly imagine. With bids of power by self-proclaimed Barons, which are more like crime lords. If it is all well in good, it could actually become a mafia structure, with "families" or coteries having right or duty to take care of areas of the city. That would be kind of like a commune where every Anarch tries to do its part for the well-being of the city's Kindred. It's just a different society, not anti-society.

                I believe Anarch domains are ones you should take every crazy distopic, utopic, zany, fantastical or crazy idea and put it to practice. Hell, you could have a crazy Anarch domain where everyone behaves as if part of a Chivalric Order that has existed since the Dark Ages as a Military Order of Knights of the Bitter Ashes. One Anarch city could have a School of some sort where fledlings spend a couple of years learning to be Kindred. There is also one example in the Anarch book where Kindred live in an awesome and crazy resort in the mountains where to stay there you got to spent millions of bucks.

                In summary there is a lot of interesting directions, but goddamn, we have no material whatsoever. I love Hecata and cults, and I'm happy for Cult of the Blood Gods, but we needed that much material and chronicles just for the Anarch sect too.


                Strange... When coincidence seems too convenient, I prefer to call it fate.

                -Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain d=

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Banu_Saulot View Post
                  Well. I think Anarchs should be, by V5, pretty much the most common or populous; simply because kind of every vampire is Embraced in ""Anarch"", especially since Camarilla no longer takes every single vamp as their own.
                  I have a hard time getting my head around this because it's really the prince that decides who's an anarch and who isn't. If Princes want a stable rule in a stable city, it's nonsensical to deny Camarilla status to childer with sires of good standing, who sought permission to embrace.

                  The difference between autarkis, independent and anarch sometimes eludes me.
                  Autark is an old word for independent, just to make matters worse. Independent is a pretty bad word for the FoS/A/Gio, since they're more sects than clans and many belong to camarilla cities and abide by camarilla rules.

                  If we go by the game's definitions, an Autark doesn't give a shit about a wider reform or revolution, an Autark is an outlaw that'll be hunted in most cities. An Anarch does belong to group that champions reform or revolution, at least nominally.


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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Microcuchon View Post
                    I don't think LA by Night was so bad (not the worse definitely) and I also disagree there aren't interesting plot hooks in an Anarch domain. I must add that I am a RL anarchist, so the politics of Anarchy is something that deeply interests me.
                    It's important to note that the definition of an Anarch in Vampire has nothing to do with anarchism. It's perfectly fine for an Anarch (capital A) to be an anarchist. But many Anarchs, probably the vast majority, are not. The definition of an Anarch in Vampire is just "a vampire who does not accept the authority of the Inner Circle to govern all vampires, and who is not a member of the Sabbat".

                    (The Independent Clans, in fact, are generally not actually independent in the sense they are free from the Inner Circle. Instead, they had some other arrangement with the Inner Circle that still governed their relationship in some capacity. The Giovanni had the Promise of 1528. The Assamites had the Treaty of Tyre. The Setites didn't have any formal treaty, but were offered membership, had individual "members" of the Camarilla, and kept any of their subversions secret rather than open. Only the Ravnos weren't really regulated, and originally they were just merry wandering vagabonds that the Camarilla could ignore most of the time.)

                    An Anarch could be someone who believes in representative or direct democracy. It could be someone who believes in some kind of libertarian utopian. It could be an archconservative vampire who prefers who it was in the Dark Ages BEFORE the Anarch Revolt when Princes could do anything without a Justicar or Conclave interfering. It could be someone who believes there should be a single Lord of the Vampires that all other vampires obey (don't laugh, that's essentially the perspective of the Sabbat with Caine as King and since he's absent our Regent will do, and the Sabbat are supposed to be the original Anarchs). And of course, it could just be criminal thugs who want an excuse/cover for their own crimes. And much of the time, an "Anarch" is just someone the local Prince is crapping on.

                    Now in actuality, most Anarchs are concerned with the abuses of the elders and want more freedom for the neonates and those with inferior generation. But there's a variety of ways to handle that issue. The actual view of anarchists are just one faction within that, and probably a small one.

                    But it would've been neat to actually have a group of actual vampire anarchists in the Free States, and compare them to other factions equally Anarch, but who want a different political arrangement.

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                    • #25
                      I don't think Anarchs domains are unfeasible or that Anarchs should only be relegated as a part of the Camarilla. While it's true that there is no such thing as a "standard" anarch domain some "institutions" tend to appear more often than others. The Baron, obviously, but then Emissaries, Sweepers and Chamelons are positions that exist throughout all sorts of Anarch domains. Also having cities that are all the same variation of "the Camarilla runs the place, the Anarchs are rousing rabble in the most rundown neighborhoods but can't achieve much" can only sustain so many stories before becoming stale.
                      I believe making Anarchs domains could actually be very interesting and a breath of fresh air, actually:
                      -Anarchs are usually organised in rival gangs (coteries) and the Baron is unlikely to have enough personal power to dominate the political landscape alone (Washington DC is the exception), being more often than not, "primus inter pares" this provides ample material for stories (rivalries, alliances, turf wars...).
                      -Anarchs can be on the offensive vs the Camarilla which is something hinted but never really explored in VtM. V5 has introduced the notion of Anarchs being capable of toppling even strong Camarilla domains but never bothered to do anything with this lead and it's a waste.
                      -Anarch stories allow for a different set of themes compared to Camarilla and Sabbat stories, idealism vs reality for one. You may have ideals but what are you willing to do to achieve them? You don't want power (in the beginning at least) but you need power in order to make a change...

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
                        Because Anarch domains are logically few. Anarchs can't be strongly defined by anything more than "vampire groups opposed to a prince". In most cases, the quiet majority of "Anarchs" are just Camarilla with a few disagreements.
                        Yeah, most Anarchs were really just "Anti-Prince of the city they live in." If the Prince died or was replaced, those Anarchs would go right back to being regular members of the city's Camarilla. And most Anarchs in one city don't really care too much about Anarchs in another city. They care about getting rid of the Prince of Tulsa, but they don't really care about the Prince of Atlanta or the Anarchs in Atlanta. There are some, a minority, of Anarchs who really are anti-Camarilla, but those guys mostly all went off to California to try and start up the Free State.

                        So the Anarchs you find in most cities outside of California are really only Anarchs because they oppose the Prince, not because they want to overthrow the Camarilla or set up their own new political system or anything.
                        Last edited by AnubisXy; 06-30-2022, 09:35 PM.

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                        • #27
                          Why be an Anarch? I mean, the reason is obvious: feudalism sucks if you're not the king.

                          Eh,

                          My take on the Anarchs is something that's a bit more forgiving than most people. I think most Anarchs are actually quite reasonable in their demands but the problem is that a lot of fans are not taking the time to recognize how fundamentally INSANE the situation is. They're used to "buying in" to the oddities of a RPG so they ignore that almost everyone not born into the Ventrue, Toreador, or Tremere will be inclined to Anarchism.

                          Essentially, you awaken to a new world as a vampire and that comes with its ups and downs (to say the least). However, in addition to the horrifying thirst you now possess, you also find out that you are subject to the whims as well as control of a feudal system that no one has been living under for a thousand years. You are also subject to the laws of an organization that will kill you if you break one of their seemingly arbitrary laws.

                          Now a lot of this is subject to the interpretation of the ST as well as what sort of Prince you have but if you want an Anarch game then it's not hard to make it seem reasonable to oppose them:

                          * "Feed from this mortal, you've violated an Elder's domain."
                          * "Feed in this place, you've violated this Elder's domain."
                          * "Ditch your mortal identity and give up everything you have [if the Prince feels like it] while some other asshole can go on pretending to be alive."
                          * "You can't Embrace your girlfriend despite the fact you've been a good dog for 50 years because the Prince has decided there's too many Kindred in the city."
                          * An Elder Blood Bonds or Dominates you and keeps you as their mind-warped slave for a decade, torturing you like the Purple Man did Jessica Jones.

                          BLOODLINES does a decent job of making it clear how confusing and awful the Camarilla system can be if you're not one of the In-Crowd. You get Embraced, your sire murdered, almost executed yourself, and then thrown out on the street to survive by hook or by crook. If you're not already rich and don't have Social Powers, you may be living in abandoned homes and drinking from rats or hobos.

                          Being a vampire can SUCK and you may wonder why you support the gerontocracy. Answer? You don't. Unless you're part of the gerontocracy, you're either an Anarch or one of the many vampires who smartly keep their head down and hope to stay out of this.

                          There are few other options.

                          Anarchs can be and largely are every bit the same kind of assholes the Camarilla are--but they talk a good game about freedom, brotherhood, and venting your anger. Also, if the Prince's Sheriff is around, he's less likely to randomly stake and leave you for the Sun if you have your five good buddies around.

                          Which is why coteries are more something for Anarchs than Elders.
                          Last edited by CTPhipps; 07-01-2022, 04:09 AM.


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

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
                            An Anarch could be someone who believes in representative or direct democracy. It could be someone who believes in some kind of libertarian utopian. It could be an archconservative vampire who prefers who it was in the Dark Ages BEFORE the Anarch Revolt when Princes could do anything without a Justicar or Conclave interfering. It could be someone who believes there should be a single Lord of the Vampires that all other vampires obey (don't laugh, that's essentially the perspective of the Sabbat with Caine as King and since he's absent our Regent will do, and the Sabbat are supposed to be the original Anarchs). And of course, it could just be criminal thugs who want an excuse/cover for their own crimes. And much of the time, an "Anarch" is just someone the local Prince is crapping o
                            True. And one of the reasons Requiem's Carthians book ended up giving me a lot of useful things to think about regarding Anarchs. (In a similar vein, the Invictus book was really useful for the Camarilla.) You can have a group of Anarchs who are essentially 1920s Italian Fascists (or its Marcus Garvey led African American counterpart) alongside a Hippy commune and an outlaw biker gang, and all of them be legit Anarchs. Likewise the clique of coffee house intellectual anarchists, a bunch of vampire nuns, and that Fake Rapper from the original Brujah clanbook. It's part of why I find them fun. (But I also like using a lot of Ventrue, Lasombra, and Setites as Anarchs, so my tastes are wierd.)


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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by No One of Consequence View Post
                              True. And one of the reasons Requiem's Carthians book ended up giving me a lot of useful things to think about regarding Anarchs. (In a similar vein, the Invictus book was really useful for the Camarilla.) You can have a group of Anarchs who are essentially 1920s Italian Fascists (or its Marcus Garvey led African American counterpart) alongside a Hippy commune and an outlaw biker gang, and all of them be legit Anarchs. Likewise the clique of coffee house intellectual anarchists, a bunch of vampire nuns, and that Fake Rapper from the original Brujah clanbook. It's part of why I find them fun. (But I also like using a lot of Ventrue, Lasombra, and Setites as Anarchs, so my tastes are wierd.)
                              I like weird. Weird can be good.
                              Last edited by Father Enoch; 07-01-2022, 12:05 AM.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by No One of Consequence View Post

                                True. And one of the reasons Requiem's Carthians book ended up giving me a lot of useful things to think about regarding Anarchs. (In a similar vein, the Invictus book was really useful for the Camarilla.) You can have a group of Anarchs who are essentially 1920s Italian Fascists (or its Marcus Garvey led African American counterpart) alongside a Hippy commune and an outlaw biker gang, and all of them be legit Anarchs. Likewise the clique of coffee house intellectual anarchists, a bunch of vampire nuns, and that Fake Rapper from the original Brujah clanbook. It's part of why I find them fun. (But I also like using a lot of Ventrue, Lasombra, and Setites as Anarchs, so my tastes are wierd.)
                                Honestly, I feel like it's weird they didn't take MORE from Requiem regarding the Anarchs.

                                I've felt a lot of Requiem got co-opted for V5 and this isn't an insult. It's like how a huge amount of ULTIMATE Marvel ended up in the mainstream comicsverse and MCU.

                                There's a lot of good ideas.

                                Part of what makes the Carthians so interesting is that there's a massive IQ boost to the Anarchs in that the majority of them are less likey to be leather-jacket wearing thugs and more likely to be University educated thinkers who question the validity of a Feudal system in Modern times.


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