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  • Debate Valkyries Vampiric patrons.

    its come to my attention that some seriously dislike the whole "Secretly manipulated by vampires" aspect of Valkyrie, thought id ask on it.

    I like it personally.



  • #2
    Originator of the joke/semi-serious fan theory of "Led by Vampire Abe Lincoln" here. Less known as the "Also Loki-trying-to-change-fate-somehow" theorist. (Together, they are codenamed Stovepipe and Shears)

    You can take a guess how I feel about it.

    (but seriously, I do I like it.)


    Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
    The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
    Feminine pronouns, please.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Prince of the Night View Post
      its come to my attention that some seriously dislike the whole "Secretly manipulated by vampires" aspect of Valkyrie, thought id ask on it.

      I like it personally.
      I don't think it's the idea itself as much as it's how undeveloped it is. Like, Night Stalkers merely heavily hints at it, which would be fine, and that's how that kind of thing would usually be handled. However C&C actually point-blank tells you the answer, but then doesn't actually tell you anything, there aren't even some interesting elaborations like the Cheiron Board have.

      I vaguely remember hearing that there was a more elaborate backstory cut for whatever reason.


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      • #4
        The whole point of Hunter is humans fighting back. Having prominent conspiracies like Valkyrie be headed by non human entities kind of cheapens the purpose and make the Hunters look like a bunch of fools being manipulated by the supernatural.
        Last edited by Apex Predator; 11-18-2018, 07:45 AM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Apex Predator View Post
          The whole point of Hunter is humans fighting back. Having prominent conspiracies like Valkyrie be headed by non human entities kind of cheapens the purpose and make the Hunters look like a bunch of fools being manipulated by the supernatural.
          On the other hand, the entire point of Conspiracies is that they are compromised.

          I mean, Valkyrie being funded by vampires(and that's important to distinguish, they are funded by vamps and expected to act in response to that rather than simply being run by them) is small potatoes compared to

          Actively Act In the Abyss's Favor to Keep It Quiet(Knights of St. George),
          Act as the Spirit's Ambassadors and Soldiers in the Conflict over the Border(Les Mysteres),
          Probably a Puppet for VII[Whatever the fuck they are](Cainite Heresy),
          Pretty Much Absolutely the Result of Shuankhsen Efforts(Feast of Shulpae),
          Has a God-Machine Angel as Their Driving Client(Knights of St. Adrian),
          Posers as Government Agents for the Panopticon(Division Six[compact, but worth mentioning]),
          Run by Extra-Dimensional Entities who Either Have Odd Ideas About Fighting the Apocalypse or Terrifying Ideas About Causing the Apocalypse and Oh By The Way Are Capitalist Fucks(Cheiron Group),
          Actively Serve an Actively Angry and Gluttonous Ghoul and are Possibly Powered by Really Warped Imitator of a God Who Is Already A Fuck(Malleus Maleficarum),
          Operate Under Probable-Metaphysical Gunpoint of a Woman of Indeterminate Origin(Lucifuge),
          Probably Manipulated by a Number of Ghost Conspiracies(Council of Bones)
          and Might Probably be Manipulated by the Most Judgmental Morally Grey Folks in Mage's Setup(Aegis Kai Doru).

          One of Hunter's points is that the road to power has more than a price, but a challenge, nay, a compromise to one's sense of correct action-one's sense of moral, ethical, even existential validity will come under fire the more one operates as a hunter. It's the cost of doing business.

          On a positive side, it reinforces the similarities between humanity and their monsters. Valkyrie, ironically, does this best-for all that Valkyrie would flip on it's head to find out about who is funding their alientation-through-access-to-advanced-technology-and-governmental-validation, it's also the easiest place to see where the concerns of humanity and monsters are most in line(namely that the best operating state for both sides is in the Masquerade of Ignorance Feigned), and how from there we can work in tandem with one another to build a better world. While it's easy to see the problems with such in all the others, it also stands as similar proofs-Conspiracies are where the concept of the Human/Monster divide gets to fall apart and we begin to consider the possibility that there are better symbioses that can be developed for the benefit of everyone.

          On the negative side...

          Welp. The Road to Power is Where Virtue Dies. You want to make a change, you had better be willing to sacrifice some of your ideals on the altar of the dark for the benefit of the other ones. Hope you know which ones are worth it, because if you don't, the end of the day sees you as a puppet to the monsters you were fighting and a slave the darkness you hoped to overcome.

          Welcome to Hunter. You're not the good guys.
          Last edited by ArcaneArts; 08-09-2020, 03:27 AM.


          Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
          The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
          Feminine pronouns, please.

          Comment


          • #6
            I think they want to show for other games, especial requiem that you CAN create and run a Cancer conspiracy if you want.
            then again I have a LOW opinion of the government.
            Last edited by Prince of the Night; 11-18-2018, 08:54 PM.


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            • #7
              Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
              On the other hand, the entire point of Conspiracies is that they are compromised.

              I mean, Valkyrie being funded by vampires(and that's important to distinguish, they are funded by vamps and expected to act in response to that rather than simply being run by them) is small potatoes compared to

              Actively Act In the Abyss's Favor to Keep It Quiet(Knights of St. George),
              Act as the Spirit's Ambassadors and Soldiers in the Conflict over the Border(Les Mysteres),
              Probably a Puppet for VII[Whatever the fuck they are](Cainite Heresy),
              Pretty Much Absolutely the Result of Shuankhsen Efforts(Feast of Shulpae),
              Has a God-Machine Angel as Their Driving Client(Knights of St. Adrian),
              Posers as Government Agents for the Panopticon(Division Six[compact, but worth mentioning]),
              Run by Extra-Dimensional Entities who Either Have Odd Ideas About Fighting the Apocalypse or Terrifying Ideas About Causing the Apocalypse and Oh By The Way Are Capitalist Fucks(Cheiron Group),
              Actively Serve an Actively Angry and Gluttonous Ghoul and are Possibly Powered by Really Warped Imitator of a God Who Is Already A Fuck(Malleus Maleficarum),
              Operate Under Probable-Metaphysical Gunpoint of a Woman of Indeterminate Origin(Lucifuge),
              and Might Probably be Manipulated by the Most Judgmental Morally Grey Folks in Mage's Setup(Aegis Kai Doru).

              One of Hunter's points is that the road to power has more than a price, but a challenge, nay, a compromise to one's sense of correct action-one's sense of moral, ethical, even existential validity will come under fire the more one operates as a hunter. It's the cost of doing business.

              On a positive side, it reinforces the similarities between humanity and their monsters. Valkyrie, ironically, does this best-for all that Valkyrie would flip on it's head to find out about who is funding their alientation-through-access-to-advanced-technology-and-governmental-validation, it's also the easiest place to see where the concerns of humanity and monsters are most in line(namely that the best operating state for both sides is in the Masquerade of Ignorance Feigned), and how from there we can work in tandem with one another to build a better world. While it's easy to see the problems with such in all the others, it also stands as similar proofs-Conspiracies are where the concept of the Human/Monster divide gets to fall apart and we begin to consider the possibility that there are better symbioses that can be developed for the benefit of everyone.

              On the negative side...

              Welp. The Road to Power is Where Virtue Dies. You want to make a change, you had better be willing to sacrifice some of your ideals on the altar of the dark for the benefit of the other ones. Hope you know which ones are worth it, because if you don't, the end of the day sees you as a puppet to the monsters you were fighting and a slave the darkness you hoped to overcome.

              Welcome to Hunter. You're not the good guys.
              I'm not a fan of that. I think part of the reason behind Hunter is to balance the "Monsters Runs the Party" theme in the world of darkness; to show that humans can fight back no matter the cost or consequences.

              The whole "Monster behind every Conspiracy" reduces Hunters to little more than hit squads. Also, disminishes their responsability over the Vigil's ugly truth: that humans themselves can be as bad as the supernatural menaces.

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              • #8
                Vampires having a hand in Task Force: Vaklyrie and manipulating it for its purposes is one thing. The thole thing being no more than another goon squad for powerful vampires is another. It's all a matter of degrees. Hunters being manipulated, controlled and compromised by monsters is inevitable. But do it too much and the whole point of the gameline is lost. Hunter is special because while the entire rest of the Chronicles of Darkness treats mortals as background and collateral damage, Hunter gives them teeth. Making conspiracies just another pawn of the supernatural puts a hole in it.

                I also heavily dispute the claim that the "point" of Conspiracies is to be compromised. Conspiracies provide hunters with a chain of command, resources, knowledge and a supernatural edge.But they're mired in their ideology, corrupt and often questionably better than the monsters they hunt. All that can be accomplished by humans. No need for supernatural manipulation. Hunter is about mortal humans doing things on their own, for better or (frequently) worse. Let's let hunter organizations do or die on their own, without having supernaturals run everything just like in every other CofD game.

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                • #9
                  Saying that every conspiracy is compromised is a bit of a stretch- but that depends on how you define "being compromised". For example, sure the Lucifuge is ruled by a very questionable person, but every member of the conspiracy is, in fact, a monster, which is the defining trait of the organization. Are the Lucifuge compromised because of that? Many hunters would say "Of course! Kill the devil spawn!", but I assume that many of the less zealot members would question that. The MM is controlled by a ghoul- but ghouls are still human, and he does hunts other vampires and actively supports the Vigil. Is he a monster? Yes. Does the Malleus compromised because of that? Again, depends on who you ask. Sure, some conspiracies are much more into the dark side than others (The Knights of St George which appease sleeping gods, the Mysteres which serve the spirit world, the Cainte Heresy which blindly work for unknown patrons, etc, etc), but even they have their redeeming qualities (usually). The Cainte, for example, would kill vampires- they are manipulated, and they know they are manipulated, but they simply don't care as long as it allows them to kill those creatures they hate so much. The Mysteres serve the spirits- but again, they are aware of their manipulations, and they know that the alternatives is just let them roam free and do as they wish. The Faithful of Shulpae may use an heretic ceremony for power, but they still hunt monsters instead of serving them (sure, you may say that they serve the ultimate force of entropy, but that's about as sinful as polluting, and no one is called a "monster" for that). Cheiron Group may be controlled by alien entities, but one of the options is that while their methods are dangerous and dreadful, they still work for the Vigil in their own way.

                  In short, here is the thing- most of the conspiracies use some short of supernatural trick. Usually, supernatural tricks require supernatural help. Supernatural help usually comes in the form of monsters. So yeah, hunters use tools of questionable origin in order to hunt monsters. Does that mean they are compromised? Some hunters would say yes, others would say no. Some conspiracies don't even have that- the Ascending Ones, for example, have dark sides, but those are human evils, not monstrous ones. The AKD may have desires to rise above their mortal status, but they are still humans. VASCU, as weird as it may be, is the most honest conspiracy, where players have argued again and again about the fact that the weirdest thing about them is that they have nothing weird about them (with the exception of the Hall of Mirrors and that line about the Director which "works non stop" that many just wish to take it literally).

                  So yeah, Valkyrie is funded by vampires. And yes, those vampires sometimes use their influence in order to get rid of their enemies or help their friends. Do they control the conspiracy as whole? Not so much. Valkyrie hunts more than vampires, after all, and the ST is the ones to decide how far does the corruption goes in the organization. Plus, that whole angle exists mostly for the players to explore a situation where they discover Valkyrie's unseen supporters, and have to decide what to do with that- something like the SHIELD vs HYDRA conflict in the Winter Soldier. Conspiracies as whole examine the grey line between hunters and monsters, and force you to ask questions about what price you are willing to pay in order to fight the darkness. Asking "what is a monster" and "can a monster be redeemed" is something that Hunter as whole is meant to ask- conspiracies simply take it to the next level, where you either touch the boundary yourself, or that you work with lesser evils in order to defeat greater ones- or for profit. Or for some other form of personal gain.

                  Yes, you know that you are manipulated. Yes, you know that it is not a perfect solution- but this is not a perfect world. You have seen it in your own eyes. But in spite of it- or because of it- every light counts. Every candle can bring hope to a better world. The question is how much are you willing to pay, and if the shadows the candle cast are deeper than the darkness it was meant to lite. Hunter was never a game of good vs evil- it is a game of grey lines and questionable choices, of small lights and deeper darkness, which all settles up to the moment where you lay in a back street, covered in your own blood and look to the sky as the life leaves your body while you ask "was it all worth it?", and all you can do is to hope that in that moment, and answer will be "yes".
                  Last edited by LostLight; 11-19-2018, 07:52 AM.


                  Check my STV content, Or My Homebrew

                  "And all our knowledge is, Ourselves to know"- An Essay on Man

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by LostLight View Post
                    Plus, that whole angle exists mostly for the players to explore a situation where they discover Valkyrie's unseen supporters, and have to decide what to do with that- something like the SHIELD vs HYDRA conflict in the Winter Soldier.
                    I think this tends to get overlooked a lot. It's a game setting, it's intended to change with play. The conspiracies are compromised to varying degrees because it gives the players (and STs) some easy overarching goals. A single vigil can only do so much, if you can rejuvenate a conspiracy you can do so much more.

                    The way TFV is shown kinda makes them out to be almost unrealistically nice and professional. Lots of real life extra-legal paramilitaries seem to end up either using their legal exemptions to run drugs or simply embezzling their budget. TFV seem to be good hunters if only the vampires can be gotten rid of.

                    If the Chronicle isn't about purging Valkyrie, then it doesn't matter.


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                    • #11
                      I like it, personally, but that's just me. I sometimes toy with the whole 'Vampire Abe Lincoln' theory.


                      Raksi plays Peek-a-boo for keeps. ~ nalak42

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Morty View Post
                        Hunters being manipulated, controlled and compromised by monsters is inevitable. But do it too much and the whole point of the gameline is lost.
                        This is basically my issue, if it was just Valkyrie then okay, but Cheiron is apparently run by aliens and Malleus by a ghoul.

                        Its a pattern.

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                        • #13
                          ghouls are still fundamentally human by a large amount. that Baudolino is also literally only guilty of hypocrisy in drinking vampire blood, blood that has kept him alive and allowing him to successfully lead the MM.

                          it's his chosen successor who is fucking crazy
                          Last edited by Primordial newcomer; 11-19-2018, 10:54 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Raistlin View Post
                            I'm not a fan of that. I think part of the reason behind Hunter is to balance the "Monsters Runs the Party" theme in the world of darkness; to show that humans can fight back no matter the cost or consequences.
                            That's not really the theme of Chronicles of Darkness, though. Exarchs, vampires, even the God Machine, an entity so powerful and omnipresent that its only known as 'the God Machine' is not in control of things. This chaos and unpredictability is a running thread throughout the setting, even hunter.

                            It's reflected in humanity and the Vigil by, really, the usual way.

                            You get to choose your Vigil. A loved one was killed by vampires, you don't want that to happen anymore, so you kill vampires. Maybe you join up with a family friend or relative, find some drifter who knows about them, and you have a cell. Maybe you get into touch with a compact. They have a more focused goal, they might not be interested in killing vampires, but they can help out. But once you hit the conspiracy level, you are choosing to not go with your Vigil. You are choosing to have superiors, to have rules others made that you'll have to abide by. In exchange, you get power and influence. A member of a conspiracy calls themselves pragmatic, or a realist, while members of compacts or untouched cells might call them sellouts.

                            And that's the human condition. Examples of it all across the board. Tier 1: You help out a homeless person, maybe help get them a job. Tier 2: You work at a food kitchen, keep people fed who can't manage it themselves, you help a larger portion of the community. Tier 3: You collect money for an international charitable organization, but only 25% of that is going to reach the people it's intended to benefit. But at Tier 3 you have a name, a brand, they have commercials, people know them, and it's easier than working Tier 1-2 stuff.

                            It's the same in politics. It's all fine and dandy that you have strong views about how things should work, but as you move up you'll find that those strong views aren't necessarily condusive to getting what you want done. And maybe you have to kill some teenage werewolf to scratch another politicians back so he'll help you kill the covey of vampires.

                            And religion. Most people don't join up wanting to support a child abuse coverup, but if you're the one making decisions and you want those donations maybe you can just have Father Feely discretely hidden away, and that money can go to a good cause. And it's everywhere, companies (Google removed 'Don't Be Evil' from their Code of Conduct, because there's a lot of money in being evil), law enforcement organizations, militaries, it's even exemplified in the Vice mechanic, just give in to that urge and you can get that Willpower back.

                            Once you start going up that ladder, and let your Vigil be decided by someone else, it doesn't matter if it's vampires, mages, or some human who wants you to gank Joe the plumber because they saw something and your conspiracy can't have them talking about it.

                            As for the specific vampires in TFV, I think a lot of the stronger complaints are a result from hearing about it secondhand rather than reading it, or people who read it focusing on one thing over another. The idea that they might be involved with vampires was there from the first book and continues throughout, only more specifically revealing that vampires steer money to it and manage to dictate some missions. They still kill vampires. They still kill other baddies. And if this plot hook is ever meant to come up, dealing with it is ideally something your players would have a decision about. Are they going to stick to their Vigil? Or are they going to go ahead and do their job like always, because without the vampires no one else is going to be throwing them money and they do a lot of 'good' with it.

                            tl;dr it doesn't really harm any themes of Hunter, it puts a spotlight on them. And it's not some everlasting setting element, if it's something that ever comes up it's something players can deal with.
                            Last edited by nofather; 11-19-2018, 11:41 AM.

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                            • #15
                              I'ma just note that opinions don't change the fact that Conspiracies are Compromised is open text in Hunter the Vigil. That is the entire design point of those organizations. It can be argued that there was too much craziness going on with Monsters at the Top as the line went along for exploring that angle, but the compromised nature of Conspiracies is text.
                              Last edited by ArcaneArts; 11-19-2018, 09:42 PM.


                              Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
                              The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
                              Feminine pronouns, please.

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