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A day in the life of the sabbat

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  • A day in the life of the sabbat

    I hope any players who take part in the campaign I'm talking about have the moral fiber not to ruin their own potential story here, but I guess I just have a few questions left. Recently I decided it was time to get some more sabbat experience having little to none already and wanted to run a game of v20 with it. I understand the black hand, the rites, the ranking, the code of milan, the civil wars, the black hand, the true black hand, and the blood sharing. What the hell is a day in the life of a sabbat like? I suppose aside from swapping blood and gathering people to slaughter for a coming home party I just need some extra motive on what keeps them from sitting on their ass for ages at a time because the human world sure as hell wouldn't seem that interesting. I would love any sabbat campaign advice, experience, or ways to get my players away from the path I was going to do anyway I read about. Were starting at the first stage of blood bond and with a new pack priest and leader.

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  • #2
    It depends really on what the current goal is.

    - If they have nothing to do, I can see them sitting on their ass and doing nothing but telling (embelished) stories of their exploit...or running around and just stirring trouble: Preferably in a nearby Cammie city.
    - If they have an actual mission (either given to them or self-appointed), they could be doing some recon work in a Cammie stronghold, attending multi-pack briefing and planning the attack, recruiting a few shovelhead (better do that in the Cammie town)
    - If they are truly ballsy, infiltrating a Cammie city and pretending to be good little Kindred.

    Project consolidation:
    Rough Draft: Dhole Shifters, Ottawa By Night, Tribebook Bunyip, Garou Variant
    In redaction: Lasombra Bloodline


    • #3
      Don't forget that the Sabbat is by no means immune to politics. The local Bishop is looking to maintain their power and strong packs in its city to increase their uneasy balancing act. What if one pack is becoming too strong? Or a new pack moves into the city upsetting the power balance?

      What if an even more powerful sect official comes visiting? Also whilst the Sabbat does not acknowledge the Masquerade it is not stupid. It still has situations in the mortal sphere that need to be handled pragmatically. Do the pack cause these issues or do they help subtlety solve them? How do the Bishops Templars interact with the pack? Is one a constant thorn in their side? If so why?

      How does the city react if an Inquisitor passes through? Or rumors of an impending Camarilla offensive? Has some idiot pack decided to put their spare time to poor use by unilaterally trying to uproot and diablerise the local Inconnu Monitor?

      All of these things can be going on in the background to a city, besides that then I would expect games of instinct, feeding, lessons in ritae or warfare/whatever the packs niche is. Pack members are still individuals and have their own projects I expect. From the Malkavian Antitribu gathering subjects for its experiments to the Toreador Antitribu holding a 'gala' event. Is the Lasombra in the pack monitoring a potential childe and instigating the traditional tests to destruction? The individual paths also have uses, is there a notable Path of Caine Scholar holding a seminar?

      Lots of possibilities can be thrown into the mix.


      • #4
        As of Revised, the Sabbat aren't so different from the other groups as any would like to claim...

        A pack is more likely to share a "meal" than a Camarilla coterie or anarch gang where hunting alone is the norm (and the victim is at more risk of death, but it's still far from 100%) but hunting is still an essential and doing it in secret is still necessary as well.

        Packs still don't spend all their time together (except possibly Blood Brothers).

        Multiple packs hanging out isn't so different from a few coteries hanging out in Elysium or anarch gangs at the Free States, just with more punches thrown and louder music. They also do plenty of other things that other vampires often do, like acquiring money and equipment and Influence through illicit means.

        Keeping up the appearance of mortal lives may be less common but it's not unknown.

        There's also plenty of Sabbat-specific activity to get up to besides fighting the Camarilla - you could run a Sabbat game with no Camarilla presence (and vice versa) so don't let "kill Cam!" define the game. Noddist scholarship, occult mysteries, inter- and intra-pack rivalries, manipulation by elders, conflicts with independent clans... check out this somewhat ranty example for things the Sabbat can do other than be the antagonists to another sect.

        Check out some example packs and individuals in city books and Clanbooks to see some specific examples. For an extreme example, Number One Heartthrob in New York By Night was a pack of club kids with a specific mission of making certain decadent behaviour (like Blood Doll style blood sharing, to make feeding easier) fashionable - so they spent most of their time clubbing, hanging out with mortals they wanted to impress.

        Craig Oxbrow
        The Trinity Continuum freelancer


        • #5
          Another link: Sabbat story hooks - only got up to 19 as opposed to the hoped-for 101, but I'm sure some of them will come in handy. (Disclaimer - there are a few by me.)

          Craig Oxbrow
          The Trinity Continuum freelancer


          • #6
            Thank you so kindly! This is extremely helpful.

            Our world of darkness podcast:


            • #7
              You're welcome. Positive feedback is always appreciated.

              Craig Oxbrow
              The Trinity Continuum freelancer


              • #8
                How about not a "day", but "A Night in the Life of the Sabbat"?


                • #9
                  Games of Instinct are a great way to keep a pack entertained and build its cohesion.

                  Don't be afraid to skip ahead through time. A session might pick up immediately after the last one ended, or many nights, weeks or years later. The downtime can assumed to be filled with whatever the PCs were doing that isn't interesting to play through, and/or isn't relevant to the main story.

                  A few things Sabbat PCs have done in my experiences, other than ritae and hunting:
                  - politic with other Sabbat
                  - maintained ghouls and other mortal pawns to build influance (it's not fashionable for Sabbat, but is it often useful and a few do it)
                  - maintained a network of animal ghouls and contacts
                  - occult and/or Noddist research, sometimes related a Path of Enlightenment
                  - formed a band
                  - practiced combat skills
                  - studied or practiced other practical skills they were interested in, including studying law and learning to drive
                  - formed a cult of mortal followers, priming them to act a suicide bombers
                  - played a bunch of X-Box
                  - recreational torture and/or fleshcrafting

                  Some of these were played out in detail, others were narrated quickly as downtime activities

                  Demon Cat

                  Illuminated Dark Ages character sheets and more


                  • #10
                    Others have given very good answers, but I'm going to toss my two cents in anyway. Here are a few basic areas you may want to look at:

                    Politics: Vampires are vampires. That means politicking, and it means using neonates as pawns and scapegoats. Perhaps your players get manipulated into taking the fall for someone more powerful. Perhaps someone higher up is making illicit deals with non-Sabbat vampires, and it's up to the players to prove it. Perhaps someone in charge is a total jerk, even by Sabbat standards, and your players want to get rid of her. Perhaps she isn't, but someone in their pack wants her position anyway.

                    Ideology: In addition to the usual backstabbing for power, the Sabbat has several ideological factions. What happens if, say, a hardline Ultraconservative becomes Archbishop and pushes the PCs into his idea of what the Sabbat should be? Or a dedicated Loyalist gets the title (somehow) and encourages behavior that will draw the attention of mortals? Or they're both fighting for the position? What if the PC pack itself is ideologically diverse, and can't always agree on the proper course of action?

                    The Mortal World: The Sword of Caine talks big about not caring about humans and the Masquerade. It's a lot of lip service. They know - or the smart ones know, at least - that mortals can cause enormous problems for them. This isn't limited to humans finding out that vampires exist. Sure, that can't be allowed to happen, but it's not the only way mortals can cramp their style. What if the crappy abandoned warehouse some pack is using as a haven gets slated for demolition because it's a dangerous eyesore? What if mortals start forming neighborhood watch groups and crime goes down, making it harder to hunt? What if crime gets so high that people begin to flee, or at least stay inside at night, making blood more scarce?

                    Lore: From Noddism to Abyss Mysticism, there are plenty of secrets to uncover... not all of which should be. Discovering ancient fragments of lore can mean piecing together mysteries and digging through long abandoned sites, but it can also involve fighting off rivals and supernatural traps. And that's before considering the possibility that whatever you dug up is infernal, or otherwise inherently dangerous.

                    Other Threats: The Sabbat's enemies aren't just the Camarilla. They aren't always even other vampires. What if a Ravnos rolls into town and starts making trouble? What if there's a wight? What if a ghost starts harrassing its murderers (i.e., your players)?

                    Aside from that, there's the usual matters of Fire Dances, esbats, Games of Instinct, other ritae, hunting, etc. And, of course, vampires have their own individual projects. Some of these are going to be related to the war against the Ancients, such as building up an armory. Some of them are going to be related to a vampire's Path, like a Cathari hosting parties. Some of them are just going to be for fun, because being an inhuman monstrosity doesn't necessarily mean being a joyless machine.

                    All of these can be good for "breather" sessions, such as between storylines, but they can also be tied into current or future stories. Maybe hunters disrupt your Fire Dance. Maybe something suspicious happens during the Cathari's party. Maybe they head out to their favorite spot to dump the bodies and discover police there, dredging up their previous meals. You have a lot of options here.

                    Anyway, that's what's worked for me so far. Good luck!


                    • #11

                      I just wanted to add that the Sabbat suffer from the global stereotype that they are mindless and monsters.

                      1. Sabbat does not have the protection of the masquerade (camirilla) in their day to day work.
                      2.plotting city/financial/political takeovers takes disipline and time.
                      3.surley there will be the stereotypical neonates acting the monster but in the grand scheme they just seem more militant and ordered than their main antagonist, the ivory tower.

                      The vauldrie plays a huge role in their structured society.
                      Over all a very passionate group that for the most part believes in the product they are selling.


                      T. Brown