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  • Bane Interpretations (Not Initial Clan)

    I currently have a player whose Mekhet has dropped to Humanity 6. When looking over Banes, her and I had some differing interpretations (pg. 108; VTR 2E). I'm curious about responses to my own opinions, as well as the handling of these Banes from other story-tellers/players.

    Holy Day - While the obvious interpretation has religious connotations, I could also see this granted to a day wherein the individual practices a spiritual commitment (a "rest day" or a day of focus on the self). Ultimately, this particular day has established, habitual or ritualistic actions committed thereon. The character has to hold that day as sacrosanct.

    Invitation - Defining "private dwelling" is proving a bit of a pain because unless something is public, it's private... right? Questions of what is considered ownership of said property have also come up. I know that Kindred acknowledge property ownership insofar as Invictus corporations and most Kindred have a territory/haven/safe place of some variety sometime in their requiem. For example, would a Kindred need to be invited into the apartment they shared as kine with a roommate if that roommate was not Kindred?

    Symbols - For items of faith/devotion to weaken a character, would the character have to be opposed to religion or otherwise put at odds with it? For example, Dracula having this Bane would make complete sense given his Rites of the Dragon re-telling of his turning into a Kindred. However, a character with no strong feelings either way sort of strikes me as a moot character exploration opportunity. A character that defies "God" (or a god) being harmed would provide an interesting "counter" (if not in truth, then at least in story) to the individual's animosity towards said faith/belief. A religious character now harmed by their kine-self's artifacts of religion/belief may remind them of their monstrosity.

    What are your thoughts, everyone?

  • #2
    I'd say that the Holy Day bane usually is a sacred day in the spiritual or religious way. Although if one day is considered more important or something in their culture it could surely be that day.
    A modern interpretation could be Mondays, how often don't you have people tired from the week ends and telling everyone "I hate Mondays". Or maybe something like Wednesdays which at least here in Sweden have gotten recognition as "Little Saturaday" as an excuse to party and go out in the middle of the week. So even if that particular person don't hold the day sacrosanct it could be enough that her culture does.

    Invitation and private dwelling is imho pretty easy. If someone lives and sleeps there on most nights and that person is a mortal, then invitation applies into their home. An apartment building you could enter but not individual aparments. Property, prive or not is not something that would trigger the Bane, neither is the home of supernaturals. Ergo, only peoples home and only for people with Integrity. And yes, if they are going to enter the apartment of their former roomate that is mortal, the bane would apply.

    No, vampire myths are full of Holy symbols weakening them. Symbols is probably pretty common even among religious vampires and pretty fitting that the L&S Bishop is such a damned creature that she no longer can stand under the Cross. That the character need not believe in any higher power is not a a bad thing. Like surely , on the surface it seems fitting that if you get weaker by crosses you start believe in God, but this is far from the only explanation available. It can be a mystic reason without a god. For instance it might be the collective subconscious of humanity that gives symbols their power, or maybe it's in their own head as a cross or other holy symbol should work against vampires so a bane evolves because of the significant symbolism and other socio-cognitive reasons. Maybe it works under the same premise of Carthian Law, so who knows but it might be mandated from mass consciousnesses. Or any other strange reason. The individual character could interpret the reason of their Bane in many ways and remember, these manifest naturally on vampires, they don't choose them, we as players and STs' does. Leaving the Bane as non exploring or trying to get a reasonable explanation or rationale an in char point of view is pretty boring, but we should not presume that Holy symbols leads to or from religion.


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    • #3
      Holy days - for purposes of bane mechanics, I concur. It's supposed to be a day once a week set aside for rest and personal introspection, not a party day or day to recover from partying. If the character was areligious, I wouldn't allow the player to select this bane without some sort of pre-existing in character attachment to the day. (I allowed a character to have the bane selected as a powerful curse levied on him by a preacher/witch hunter that forced the vampire that murdered his family to stay torpid on Saturdays, as Saturdays was the preacher's sabbath.)

      Invitations - to me, even public buildings that maintain some semblance of privacy or exclusion, are subject to this restriction. A hotel for instance, a vampire with this bane could go into the lobby, the restrooms etc. But would require an express invitation to enter a private suite or conference room where a company party is held. Same thing at restaurants and night clubs. VIP rooms and the like require an invitation.

      Holy symbols - it doesn't matter what the vampire thinks about religion and superstition, it's what the person wielding the icon believes. I don't allow atheists or nihilists to successfully wield holy symbols against said vampires with this bane. Nor do I allow interchangeable iconography. A Baptist is not fending off a vampire with a celtic knot as it has no intrinsic holy meaning to him.

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      • #4
        A dwelling is a place where people stay overnight, usually sleeping while private can imply ownership(private property) or simply seclusion(privacy). I would agree with the above description of a hotel lobby being fair game but a room with someone inside being off limits.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Rathamus View Post
          A dwelling is a place where people stay overnight, usually sleeping while private can imply ownership(private property) or simply seclusion(privacy). I would agree with the above description of a hotel lobby being fair game but a room with someone inside being off limits.
          I'm not sure if I like the idea of a hotel room being protected just because people stay there. It may be a "dwelling," but it's also one that's meant for random, ever-changing people to inhabit temporarily. Where do we draw the line? Is a homeless shelter protected? It's a dwelling that accepts different people each night, but not necessarily open to the public the way a hotel atrium is. (you usually don't just walk in and fall down into a bed; there's some vetting/bookkeeping) How about a sheltered, ramshackle structure built from scavenged pieces found under an overpass? It's in a non-private location and hardly secure, but if a single person built it and has been living out of it for years, it might be more of a "home" than the shelter.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Gellydog View Post
            I'm not sure if I like the idea of a hotel room being protected just because people stay there. It may be a "dwelling," but it's also one that's meant for random, ever-changing people to inhabit temporarily. Where do we draw the line? Is a homeless shelter protected? It's a dwelling that accepts different people each night, but not necessarily open to the public the way a hotel atrium is. (you usually don't just walk in and fall down into a bed; there's some vetting/bookkeeping) How about a sheltered, ramshackle structure built from scavenged pieces found under an overpass? It's in a non-private location and hardly secure, but if a single person built it and has been living out of it for years, it might be more of a "home" than the shelter.
            In other words, a character might find themselves legitimately inconvenienced by this bane once in awhIle and actually have to activate a discipline on someone in order to secure an invitation or do something extreme, like set the place on fire to flush out an enemy purposely exploiting that particular weakness.

            A hotel is a place where someone makes a contractual arrangement with someone else to sleep behind four walls and a roof to protect from the elements as well an obligation from them to provide a measure of privacy and security to prevent their body and belongings from being violated while they sleep. There is no limit on the duration and there are also people who do actually make hotel and motel rooms their permanent residence. A homeless shelter does not offer anything other than cover from the elements. There is no real or implied expectation of privacy or security or indefinite residence duration at a homeless shelter.

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            • #7
              I guess it just seems to not line up with my understanding of how the metaphysical bane works. I see it as drawing on the idea of "home" having a spiritual weight. Being home is more than just being in a private, secure place. It's about being in a place that you conceptualize as yours, that belongs to you and that is almost an extension of your being in a way that a purchased hotel room doesn't match. An army base is private and secure, and people live there, but I don't think it fits the idea of home in a way that would trigger the bane; it's too big and too impersonal.

              If someone did live in a hotel room indefinitely? Then yeah, sure, I could see that qualifying. Just as I could possibly see a homeless shelter that has a regular "clientele" who all know each other and view each other as family, and who all view the shelter as their collective home, qualifying. It's about how the person who lives there views their dwelling, not a legal or technical definition. Similar to how it's about the person wielding a holy symbol's faith, not the vampire's.

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              • #8
                If I attributed to it the metaphysical weight of a home versus a private dwelling, as a bane it would do a hell of a lot more than petty damage that can be healed by taking some vitae from the occupants. Nothing actually prevents a vampire from entering without an invitation. Something more along the lines of being unable to enter at all and having access to their mystical powers ripped from their bodies with Lethal damage if forced inside and having all their supernatural powers drop off anyone so long as they're inside.
                Last edited by tsusasi; 12-27-2017, 04:17 PM.

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                • #9
                  tsusasi Well, I think it helps in the metaphysical version of the home that the vampire couldn't heal the bashing until after they actually left the home. I think that'd make any kindred a little bit nervous (at least ones with low humanity) because they'd have to hunt twice after breaking and entering; once to heal themselves, and a second time to replenish their store of vitae after healing themselves.

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                  • #10
                    Not really. Any vampire capable of using predatory aura can secure an invitation. For that matter there's not even a stipulation that the invitation must come from the owner or resident.
                    Waltz in, take bashing damage, feed, walk out, heal. It's no different than walk up to a drunken derelicit or pick a fight with gang bangers in an alley, take bashing damage from the encounter, feed, walk away, heal.

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                    • #11
                      Except in the latter case you can heal before you feed, meaning you tank up fully. That's not the case with the invitation bane, since you need to leave before you heal the damage taken. For a Humanity 4 vampire it means you'll be 3 Vitae from full pool, and when you're still on feeding-from-humans BP that can be quite a lot.


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                      • #12
                        So the Humanity 4 vampire takes the damage, feeds off 3 people in the house, drags a 4th from the house feeds off them, heals, and literally kicks them to the curb. Full vitae.
                        Last edited by tsusasi; 12-27-2017, 08:11 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by tsusasi View Post
                          So the Humanity 4 vampire takes the damage, feeds off 3 people in the house, drags a 4th from the house feeds off them, heals, and literally kicks them to the curb. Full vitae.


                          Kinda yeah, but then again IMHO banes are a bit weak over all. Like them better in danse macabre.
                          Or you could just eat one , heal the damage when exiting and dumping the body ^_^

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                          • #14
                            I'm definitely happy that this topic has seen an exchange of opinions and ideas.

                            I can see where both Poseur and tsusasi are coming from when it comes to Holy Day. I like both the ideas of established, cultural, sort of ritualistic days of importance (as well as religious, obviously). However, I also like the idea of a particular bane being connected to a story element (such as a bane being obtained via a cursed preacher - sort of like a bizarre retribution).

                            Likewise, Holy Symbols has had an exchange of standards where I can see both as well. I do acknowledge the line between a player choosing a bane and a character having it inflicted upon them. I just thought that for story purposes something they held strong opinions on would prove more interesting. However, the idea that tsubasi presented - that the affliction doesn't originate within the kindred, but rather the individuals that regard said symbols with reverence - I hadn't considered at all. It also causes a player character to immediately form a relationship with said symbols as it's difficult to not do so when they're proving antagonistic. And that relationship could range from confusion to back-biting spite. I do however feel that Christian/Catholic iconography has a bit of a leg-up when it comes to proving an actual disadvantage (as least in a campaign set in the United States). Because, unfortunately, if a Kindred felt affronted by symbols not commonly found, what's the bane contributing to the story?

                            Quite frankly, I'm still stumped on what interpretation of Invitation I prefer. Everyone's raised some really legitimate points. It's actual a bit of a relief that it's stumping.

                            Edit: Gellydog's 2nd post and tsusasi's 3rd post, if combined, is actually how the Dresden Files (different game, different publishing, different system, etc.) works. Not relevant to the topic beyond a nod towards this being a topic covered in another tabletop game.

                            Edit: Also, how does everyone feel about a character with both Dominate and Invitation? A part of me feels like this is a pretty meta-gaming sort of decision. However, I could also see it as the Bane forcing a Kindred that might otherwise not need to use Dominate as often to use a clan-specific discipline. That could provide psychological consequences - a character that always tells people to invite them in, giving commands?
                            Last edited by Ashes; 12-28-2017, 03:30 AM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Ashes View Post
                              Edit: Also, how does everyone feel about a character with both Dominate and Invitation? A part of me feels like this is a pretty meta-gaming sort of decision. However, I could also see it as the Bane forcing a Kindred that might otherwise not need to use Dominate as often to use a clan-specific discipline. That could provide psychological consequences - a character that always tells people to invite them in, giving commands? [/I]
                              Personally I agree with Poseur's earlier statement, and will go so far as to say most of them are laughably trivial. The idiosyncrasy itself was supposed to push creatures affected by it to engage in deceptive or intimidating behaviors so obviously it theoretically would result in your psychological consequences.
                              http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.ph...pireInvitation

                              But I don't use Invitation as written in the book specifically because it only comes into play in highly specific or custom tailored scenarios and it can still be avoided entirely by spending a single turn to exercise a modicum of basic courtesy or issue a threat, cost free without the use of powers. Add vampire powers like Predatory Aura, Dominate, Majesty or Nightmare and that means that social action is pretty much a guarantee of success. Even ignoring that single turn of social action is inconsequential since vampires can't be knocked out by bashing damage and most damage sources do bashing anyhow. Tack on Resilience and it can be nonexistent.

                              I prefer the Dresden Files' take on the trope but in regards to it's use in the novels, there are varying levels of effectiveness and it is quite obviously intended as and used as a protection (in conjunction with the obligations of hospitality) from supernatural creatures as a whole, not a trivial weakness limited to fringe exemptions as is the case in this game line. Even True Blood made it more viable as a possible weakness since an invitation can be rescinded at any time and would result in the vampire being supernaturally ejected from the premises if he was there.


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