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What do Harpies do and how do they do it?

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  • What do Harpies do and how do they do it?

    As the title implies I'm trying to got an understanding of how Harpies operate. As far as I can tell they function as a sort of news service/credit check for kindred society and I would assume that they gather the inforfation themselves too, that said I can find very little about how they do this and even this guess comes from trying to piece together from NPC entries and refrences rather than any definition given in a book.

  • #2
    From Vampire the Requiem for Dummies, p191
    'The Harpy is a member of the Kindred elite. Harpies are the celebrities and fad-starters of Kindred society. Other Kindred look to Harpies to see who’s in and who’s out and what positions and opinions are popular this season. A well-known Harpy can sway public opinion faster than some Princes.
    Harpies who attained their influence and position unofficially through nothing more than personal power and charisma are often more respected than those who are appointed by Prince or Primogen.'

    From Damnation City, p48
    'Harpy: Since feudalism is a non-democratic form of government, it doesn’t really matter what a king’s subjects think about their liege. Neo-feudalism, though, is a government principle grafted to a social contract, so the people’s opinion does indeed matter. A Prince with no popular support — whether engendered by respect or fear — is often a usurped Prince in short order. Thus, the public-relations and spin-doctoring efforts of social luminaries such as the Harpies are paramount to effective rule. The difficulty is that the Harpies aren’t official offices themselves, and those who are often reek of the propaganda for which they’re designed. Therefore, nobles of the neo-feudal system actually need to curry favor with Harpies in order to procure their patronage. Kickbacks are the order of the night when dealing with the Harpies, but they need to be substantial and discreet enough to seem like something other than what they are.'


    • #3
      Taken from this lovely blog:

      "It would probably not surprise the readers of this blog that both the people in charge here have served as Harpy at one point or another, and we do absolutely have some tips for succeeding in the post that we’re happy to share.

      So, some people may tell you that being Harpy is about keeping track of status and boons. They’re wrong. Being Harpy is about sick burns and making people love you for those sick burns. Okay, well, it is kind of about keeping track of some stuff, but the point is, if you want people to actually respect you as a Harpy and care about your status calls, you have to assert yourself as a social bellwether. Which means, on some level, honing your bitchcraft.

      This doesn’t mean you have to be mean all the time (after all, True Scorn means more if you reserve it for only deserving occasions), but you should absolutely cultivate a streak of being judgmental about other characters. You also should be willing to stick to your guns about your judgments—change them in the face of overwhelming evidence, sure, but be confident otherwise in expressing what you think about other characters. Toward that end, it’s also a good idea to try and chat up all kinds of characters, just to be able to develop those opinions and have a good sense for the big picture. You don’t have to be best buddies with everyone or know all their secrets, but it’s helpful to be informed.

      Also, never give status to yourself. Arrange other people giving it to you via backroom deals, sure, but never from yourself to yourself. That’s just tacky."

      In other words, it's Mean Girls cranked up to 11


      • #4
        One of my characters sort of became an unofficial harpy (as in, she wasn't appointed by the prince, primogen, or regents) by making anonymous satirical comic strips summarizing activities at official court functions. She even made fun of herself. Her drawings pissed off all the covenants and clans at some point but nobody ever figured out it was her. She would also "advertise" for kindred functions who aren't as well known or popular (and satirize/summarize them) or prop up alternate venues in order to deliberately stymie the popularity of events held by "mainstream" kindred who controlled the elysiums and racks or boost publicity for mortal events with kindred sponsors. (Gather the Herd is a great Gilded Cage ritual for that.)


        • #5
          Thanks for the answers. Looks like they're about what I expected but it's good to have conformation.