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  • Taking down a prince

    Okay, so here goes...

    Suppose you have a Wyrd 7 Autumn Court changeling with a vendetta against the local Kindred Prince (let’s say the prince is responsible for murdering that changeling’s motley-mates). The Lost decides he wants to ruin the prince. Not necessarily end his unlife; more like topple him from power and rob him of everything he loves. The changeling is patient and playing the long game. He’s willing to spend years, even decades, working to take down the Prince.

    So how would you do it? If you were playing this character, how would you go about undermining, circumventing, and ultimately destroying the vampire Prince of a medium-sized American city?

  • #2
    Step 1
    Collect info
    Someone with this kind of status surely has a lot of enemies.
    Also you could probably discover hidden fears, quirks, regrets or secrets, which could be turned into blackmail material.
    Oneiromancy is an excellent tool, you could enter his Bastion to investigate without him ever knowing, and by the way even if he knows the only thing that he could use to defend is an high blood potency as vampires rarely have dream related powers.

    Step 2
    Exploit info
    Ally with his enemies and work together to ruin him, they can also cover your activity or provide a safe place.
    Use oneiromancy to inflict Dream condition, so you can play with his weaknesses and force subliminal commands that will put him in danger.
    Inflict daily terrible nightmares of fire and failure.
    Use the same tools to manipulate his allies in abandoning or betraying him.
    Use contracts to frame him for a crime with human authorities, if they put him in jail infiltrate just after the dawn to save him from sunlight while he is asleep, using portaling to bring him to a safe position (for the guards it will appear as if he had escaped).
    Try to erase things that matters for him, like his favourite piece of art or tv show, and if he has created something he is proud of DESTROY or ruin it.
    If you are not worried of collateral damage target his Touchstone, even something simple as moving them to another city.

    Step 3)
    Coup de grace
    When he is weakened enough,confront him personally.
    Let him know what you have done to him but still avoid combat.
    Stalk him and seal all his statement that could inconvenience him.
    Incite his frenzy and savor it, then escape with portaling or other mundane means, better if you put him in a dangerous situation.
    Convince him that you are immortal, and that his pain will endure forever, at some point his mind will break and he will try to end his life.
    Stop him if you can, and when you have played enough bring him in The Thorns.
    The Hedge will give him what he wants in a spectacular way.
    Enjoy the show.


    PS: revenge and torture are nasty things, an easy way to shred both souls to pieces with breaking points.
    If you are not careful he will drop to Humanity 0 as easily as you can drop to a full Clarity track.
    Keep in touch with reality and your motivations, and keep asking yourself if it s enough and if it is still worth the cost.
    Desire of Retaliation is a basic human instinct, but also survival.
    From an healthy point of view, if revenge robs you of a day to day life the prince still wins, a better way would be to show him that you survived, you are stronger and happyier now and that all his efforts to destroy you are vain.
    To prevent him to strike again, let his Touchstones know which kind of monster he is, they ll probably avoid him, leading to isolation and torpor.
    As a source of inspiration i recommend the TV series
    Revenge
    Last edited by Neos01; 03-31-2021, 07:48 AM.

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    • #3
      About what Neos01 said, since it's a changelling chronicle, you can rule that Vampires have Dream Bastions, but normally, they don't dream.
      I found the other steps pretty great, so I will only try to add other information about the dangers of this kind of situation.

      Playing the long game is a Kindred strategy, so it is risky, but not impossible. With Wyrd 7 you are a pretty strong character, but your contracts and contacts will dictate how well you will do something like this against someone who is accostumed to deal with this kind of thing and tends to expect betrays and other kind of unexpected problems.

      The weakness of vampires to sun is linked to how old and strong their blood is, if the Prince has something like Blood Potency(similar to Wyrd) 7+, the Sun can make him into a pile of dust in mere seconds, but he will probably have some countermeasures to this. His faction also plays a important part into this, it is probably easier to infiltrate a Invictus prince mansion throught the Hedge than a Circle of the Crone one, since they deal with magic and curses. Most Princes tend to be Invictus, the faction that functions like a monarchy and deal with political matters, they have strong political connections and high tech security systems.

      Things to remember, avoid and/or exploit:

      - Daytime: Most of them are sleeping in the day, but if their bodies are disturbed they wake up to fight for a few turns at minimum.
      - Disciplines: They tend to be pretty nasty, since they use attribute + skill + discipline dots, so it's better to avoid direct contact. Most mental disciplines can shut down a combat in 1~2 turns.
      - Touchstones: Even the most evil Vampire will try to protect his touchstones, they can be a place in case of ancient vampires, losing a touchstone can make a vampire lose his humanity, and 0 humanity tends to be game over for them, simply moving a touchstone to another place, if they can contact it, will not cause much damage, especially if they can recover it easily with a plane ticket.
      - The Vampire Society: They usually require a Prince to be always remembering them who is in power, most Princes have lots of enemies, but also have pretty powerfull allies that want him in power so they can continue to enjoy their benefits. If you can distract a Prince nad hinder his allies for time enough that his rivals get an edge on him, he will probably face a Praxis claim(a little dispute to try to usurp his power and position).

      You can also try to negotiate with his rivals, but remember that Vampires are creatures of deception, it will not be uncommon for a Vampire allie try to manipulate you or bond you with his blood, and Blood Bond is a really nasty condition. Most books from other splats tends to advise against siding with vampires, even if this happens from time to time. Also, changelling blood is pretty sweet for vampires, some will go to great lenghts to capture changelings and taste their bloods again if they get a taste for it.

      If he is a generic Princey McPrince, like, a powerfull sheet full of dots but not really deep into Vampire the Requiem rules, Neos01 steps will do the trick. But depending on his clan, age and covenant, he can be a formidable challenge that will require at least a few chapters or a whole history to kill.

      The thing the makes him strong in this situation is that you want to ruin him, just killing him would not be so complicated.
      Last edited by Horodrigo; 04-06-2021, 08:05 AM.


      Homebrews:
      Vampire Bloodlines: Abhartach, Kiasyd
      Ordo Dracul Coils: Hunger, Primal Blood
      Mage Legacies: Infernal Ones, Daoine

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Horodrigo View Post
        About what Neos01 said, since it's a changelling chronicle, you can rule that Vampires have Dream Bastions, but normally, they don't dream.
        I found the other steps pretty great, so I will only try to add other information about the dangers of this kind of situation.

        Playing the long game is a Kindred strategy, so it is risky, but not impossible. With Wyrd 7 you are a pretty strong character, but your contracts and contacts will dictate how well you will do something like this against someone who is accostumed to deal with this kind of thing and tends to expect betrays and other kind of unexpected problems.

        The weakness of vampires to sun is linked to how old and strong their blood is, if the Prince has something like Blood Potency(similar to Wyrd) 7+, the Sun can make him into a pile of dust in mere seconds, but he will probably have some countermeasures to this. His faction also plays a important part into this, it is probably easier to infiltrate a Invictus prince mansion throw the Hedge than a Circle of the Crone one, since they deal with magic and curses. Most Princes tend to be Invictus, the faction that functions like a monarchy and deal with political matters, they have strong political connections and high tech security systems.

        Things to remember, avoid and/or exploit:

        - Daytime: Most of them are sleeping in the day, but if their bodies are disturbed they wake up to fight for a few turns at minimum.
        - Disciplines: They tend to be pretty nasty, since they use attribute + skill + discipline dots, so it's better to avoid direct contact. Most mental disciplines can shut down a combat in 1~2 turns.
        - Touchstones: Even the most evil Vampire will try to protect his touchstones, they can be a place in case of ancient vampires, losing a touchstone can make a vampire lose his humanity, and 0 humanity tends to be game over for them, simply moving a touchstone to another place, if they can contact it, will not cause much damage, especially if they can recover it easily with a plane ticket.
        - The Vampire Society: They usually require a Prince to be always remembering them who is in power, most Princes have lots of enemies, but also have pretty powerfull allies that want him in power so they can continue to enjoy their benefits. If you can distract a Prince nad hinder his allies for time enough that his rivals get an edge on him, he will probably face a Praxis claim(a little dispute to try to usurp his power and position).

        You can also try to negotiate with his rivals, but remember that Vampires are creatures of deception, it will not be uncommon for a Vampire allie try to manipulate you or bond you with his blood, and Blood Bond is a really nasty condition. Most books from other splats tends to advise against siding with vampires, even if this happens from time to time. Also, changelling blood is pretty sweet for vampires, some will go to great lenghts to capture changelings and taste their bloods again if they get a taste for it.

        If he is a generic Princey McPrince, like, a powerfull sheet full of dots but not really deep into Vampire the Requiem rules, Neos01 steps will do the trick. But depending on his clan, age and covenant, he can be a formidable challenge that will require at least a few chapters or a whole history to kill.

        The thing the makes him strong in this situation is that you want to ruin him, just killing him would not be so complicated.
        Astral realm book states that vampires dreams (in fact Rose bailey i think stated that they don t recover willpower with rest because they suffer nightmares EACH night), also vampire core book says that even in torpor vampire dreams.
        If i remember it right Dave Brookshaw stated that of the main splats only Beasts doesn t have a Bastion, and only very alien things like Strix doesn t have one
        Last edited by Neos01; 04-06-2021, 03:05 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Neos01 View Post

          Astral realm book states that vampires dreams (in fact Rose bailey i think stated that they don t recover willpower with rest because they suffer nightmares EACH night), also vampire core book says that even in torpor vampire dreams.
          If i remember it right Dave Brookshaw stated that of the main splats only Beasts doesn t have a Bastion, and only very alien things like Strix doesn t have one
          My bad, I was not aware of those responses from the Devs. By the book, I was led to believe that only some Mekhet(Merit Dream Vision) and Vampires in torpor had dreams.

          Also, there are contradictions in VtR books about this. On Spilled Blood, page 16, the Icelus bloodline is trying to recover the ability to dream, and state as follows:

          That said, few Icelus are frauds. Auditors subject each other
          to the same therapies they test on mortals, hoping to trigger
          dead organs of dreaming the Embrace snuffed out. Their
          theories hold that Kindred sleep states are disconnected from
          the collective unconscious, or at least that they’re lesser than
          those of humans. One night, they believe they’ll dream again.
          Then their studies can begin in earnest.
          Emphasys mine. The bloodline bane is not related to having lost the ability to dream. So I believed that the Kindred population didn't dream, barring exeptional cases.
          Last edited by Horodrigo; 04-06-2021, 03:19 AM.


          Homebrews:
          Vampire Bloodlines: Abhartach, Kiasyd
          Ordo Dracul Coils: Hunger, Primal Blood
          Mage Legacies: Infernal Ones, Daoine

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Horodrigo View Post

            My bad, I was not aware of those responses from the Devs. By the book, I was led to believe that only some Mekhet(Merit Dream Vision) and Vampires in torpor had dreams.

            Also, there are contradictions in VtR books about this. On Spilled Blood, page 16, the Icelus bloodline is trying to recover the ability to dream, and state as follows:



            Emphasys mine. The bloodline bane is not related to having lost the ability to dream. So I believed that the Kindred population didn't dream, barring exeptional cases.
            Maybe it could refer to the ability to have normal dreams again.
            The astral realm book describes kindred dreams as hellish nightmares in which the beast and the man fight for supremacy on the dreamscape.
            Recovering the ability to regenerate willpower with dream could be Really useful.

            Comment


            • #7
              The talk about the "collective unconscious" sounds more like they're trying to link up to the human(/mage/beast) Astral Realms again rather than just dreaming (which is a whole separate thing). But I haven't read Spilled Blood particularly closely so this might not be relevant to the discussion.


              Bloodline: The Stygians
              Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
              Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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              • #8
                As far as I can tell, most of these plans emphasise the collection and exploitation of Data, which I also recommend. Of course, since vampires tend to play the long game quite well, I’d also advise having contingency and backup plans layered out (as in the contingencies and backups have their own contingencies and backups) to the 11th Degree at absolute bare minimum, as well as plans layered within plans that are as similarly numerous and layered as your contingencies and backups as you can manage.

                Basically, be paranoid AF when dealing with a vampire in the long term.

                It’d also be useful for the Changeling to increase their Wyrd as they go along, and sign into as many Contracts as they can, to as high a level as they can.
                Last edited by TerrorCooper; 04-06-2021, 06:28 AM.


                Comment


                • #9
                  1. Mask of Superiority
                  2. ???
                  3. Profit

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thank you for the detailed responses, everyone! These are really well thought out. Gives me some definite food for thought...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Glad we could be of help. Remember; Vampires, especially the more experienced ones, are EXTREMLY skilled in long-term planning. So it would be best if you were as paranoid and Tzeentchian as possible when it comes down to planning the Changeling's actions. Of course, I'm working on the assumption that this is some kind of 'Apex' Elder Kindred, fully capable of sustaining a Blood Potency of 10 with relative ease.

                      Also, one last tip: if the only way the Changeling can be satisfied with the ruination of the Kindred's Un-life is by driving him to the absolute bottom, forcing the latter of the two to drop to BP 1 and a near empty tank would most certainly help. If the former aims to kill, then such a state would at least make it easier for the Changeling, due to the vamp not being able to fully access their physical abilities. (pretty much all major supernatural splats are completely limited to the mortal range of physical, mental and social ability when their Supernatural Tolerance/Power Stat is at 5 or less)
                      Last edited by TerrorCooper; 04-08-2021, 07:38 PM.


                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Horodrigo View Post

                        My bad, I was not aware of those responses from the Devs. By the book, I was led to believe that only some Mekhet(Merit Dream Vision) and Vampires in torpor had dreams.

                        Also, there are contradictions in VtR books about this. On Spilled Blood, page 16, the Icelus bloodline is trying to recover the ability to dream, and state as follows:



                        Emphasys mine. The bloodline bane is not related to having lost the ability to dream. So I believed that the Kindred population didn't dream, barring exeptional cases.
                        So, this is a case of one of those occasionally unfortunate things that happens in long production cycles. It's not really anyone's fault, it's just that a freelance writer can't always convey intent to an editor months after the fact.

                        So, to be clear: Vampires do indeed dream/have nightmares; the Icelus bane even depends on that fact. Their dreams are just worse than other Kindred. The line in my final draft was "truly dream again." For whatever reason, that got cut. Someone maybe felt the meaning was clear enough without the modifier (-ly adverbs aren't beloved among OPP stylists), or just wanted to make the sentence flow better, or was under a misapprehension about vampire dreaming. The Icelus have weird theories about how vampires connect to dreams, but their viewpoint is pretty skewed toward perpetuating their cult/self-help scheme.
                        Last edited by Yossarian; 04-08-2021, 07:48 PM.



                        Social justice vampire/freelancer | He/Him

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