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How to Ventrue

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  • How to Ventrue

    I've always had trouble figuring out how to portray Ventrue as anything other than Vampire Capitalists/Workaholics. What do Ventrue stories look like? What are the themes and conflicts they're working with? What are your Ventrue characters like - pcs or npcs?

  • #2
    I mean, Kilgrave.

    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.


    • #3
      Well yes, Kilgrave (◔_◔)

      So are those the two major directions you see Ven going? Workaholics or Spoiled Aristos?

      I guess that gives us stories about becoming Kilgrave, a Kilgrave redemption arc, maybe struggle with Kilgraving like an addiction....

      Is the Aloof Curse just about losing empathy (or the patience to actually employ that empathy)?


      • #4
        When most people want something, be it an object, a job, a person or a type of political regime, they have consider the desires and needs of other people and sometimes settle for not getting it. Ventrue don't. When they get told "no", they can change it to a "yes" with brute will. So they are spoilt, but this allows them pursue all kinds of dreams and that's usually a bit more complicated than dominating one minion to get it all done.


        • #5
          Basically, Ventrue Bluntly Get What They Want Whether People Want Them To Or Not, or at least that's the basics.

          There's all sorts of characters around that premise.

          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.


          • #6
            Ventrue, out of all the clans, have the most difficulty connecting with humanity. Nosferatu may repulse strangers but that doesn't burn away their empathy. Ventrue, on the other hand, start to see people more and more as tools to use to get what they want: can you really have a meaningful relationship with a mortal when you know that every thought they think, every action they take, only happens because you choose to allow it? Hence their Bane: it's significantly harder for them to hold on to touchstones.

            Different Ventrue deal with this in different ways. Some become utter sociopaths—empathy suffers when you stop seeing the people around you as human. Others fight back and try hard not to rely on Dominate. Still others draw a sharp line between equals and inferiors, making sure never to treat the former as the latter. Out of the two Ventrue PCs in my games, one is very quickly abandoning her Humanity as she realizes she can't really care about humans any more; the other rejects all use of Dominate and is determined not to become like his Sire (he's moved to a new city and now claims to be a Gangrel).


            • #7
              I don't think of Ventrue as workaholics, per se. Mercenary is maybe a better word for it? Consider the Ventrue Carthian. He works the night shift and he pays his union dues, but he likes to get home early to watch the game on TiVo. He has no interest in spending his Requiem on endless labour. All he has to do is implant a few mental triggers in the local teamster bosses; when the Movement needs any upcoming strikes to get violent, he's the one who pulls them with a couple phone calls. He feeds well behind that picket line.

              Ventrue work smart, not hard.
              Last edited by Yossarian; 05-21-2019, 05:27 PM.

              Social justice vampire/freelancer | He/Him

              VtR: Curses of Caine in Requiem 2ndTricks of the DamnedBtP: Secrets of VancouverCofD: The CabinActual Play: Vampire: The Requiem – Bloodlines
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              • #8
                Ventrue Sanctified member who led a coterie of Sanctified. She had a masters degree in art history and managed a small art gallery that promotes local artists who’s work incorporates religious themes. She has ambitions of becoming the domain’s Theban ritemistress. She cajoled or manipulated most of her coterie mates into adopting positions of minor influence throughout the city and coordinates them into helping each other out. Collectively they make a nuisance of themselves beating up (but not torporing) younger kindred they catch alone or outnumber whom they take a dislike to. (Which is pretty much everyone who isn’t Sanctified or with overt sympathies toward them) Or they may steal or vandalize property of non Sanctified if they overhear someone complaining about them during service. They are hated by the younger members of the Circle of the Crone (who are mostly male and fulfill the same role of targeting non Acolytes) but under her leadership they’re too strong for them and coordinated in a fight to do anything permanently. She’s meant to be a minor nuisance (or not so minor nuisance for solo or duo teams) that can snowball quickly if ignored.

                Rotgrafen Dragon Axe Sworn who was severely scarred as a firefighter when he was mortal. He earned his place on the Axe Sworn preventing a coterie of Belial’s Brood from burning down the covenant’s library and killed one of them in the process. He’s been beaten into torpor a few times and since picked up a few more fighting styles. He became a tattoo artist and mastered the Mysteries of the Flesh which were converted over to 2nd edition. A lot of his stories dealt with his independent research into learning his mystery, some minor politicking to become a nest guardian, assisting a few Dragons, Invictus, and Acolytes with occasional research projects. Attempting to convince an Invictus member to join the Ordo Dracul for personal political gain on his part. He is biding his time and preparing to become the Axe Grandmaster.

                Ventrue Exterminator. Invictus member that nobody has knowingly seen. All deals are arranged through her ghoul and if accepted, the ghoul will present a blood contract she signed the next night. She does kidnappings, grand larceny, or contract killing via poisoning or sniper rifle. She’s very expensive to hire and does not always agree to take a job offer. The job has to interest her ghoul (who has amassed a significant number of boons in his own right). Honestly locating her ghoul and convincing him to carry a job request to his “regnant” usually entailed doing a lot of snooping or spying on it’s own.

                Ventrue Eco Terrorist. A pirate and ecoterrorist who made the mistake of attacking the private yacht of a Ventrue oceanographer, he turned her and is forcing her to work for him on his island building project and make restitution to the residents of a fishing village she burned down that he considers part of his domain. Stories with her entailed using marine animals as scouts and spies in a seafaring chronicle, fending off other pirates and investigating who was behind feeding ecoterrorists misinformation about a fishing village becoming an office for an offshore oil rig.
                Last edited by tsusasi; 05-21-2019, 06:08 PM.


                • #9
                  Venture as Workaholic is how to Venture. It is also a stereotype. If you want to realistically represent a Venture, just take a human and give them mind-control. Since mind-control is the constant in this reductive hypothetical, the variance is in the human. Change that up to get variety.

                  An example: A bored slacker who is the touchstone to a Venture. After a fight gets heated, the Venture finds she drained her friend dry. So she embraces him. That slacker now has mind-control, a whole secret society interested in his night, a beast inside him that wants to hunt, eat, and WIN, and a friend who is acting like a mom. I say he freaks a little. He hides from the all-night society, finds a third party slacker to hang out with, and just mills the nights away playing COD. He is young enough that the beast doesn't bother him, and he figured out (largely by accident) that ordering pizza got him and his friend a meal. Who knows how long he'd have avoided the world, had his friend/sire/'new mom' brainwashed him such that he couldn't go home until he buried the bodies in the boot of his car?


                  • #10
                    So, something that I find interesting in all of our accounts is that the Ventrue seem to be the least affected by their clan per se. Instead, they tend to be affected by their access to Dominate. So for example, take twins and have one embraced by a Gangrel and the other by a Ventrue. Give each equal statting and dots in Animalism and Resilience. The Gangrel will still frenzy more easily than the Ventrue. But are there any ways that the Ventrue would differ from their Gangrel twin?

                    I think the problem that I have is that all of the other clan banes are external problems that the individual can cope with how they wish. The Ventrue end up detaching, but it's up to us to decide how that happens -- it's an internal problem. The Feral Curse takes you, and makes you more prone to frenzy, and now you need to cope with that. I can see different ways of coping with the Lonely Curse -- maybe become more self-sufficient, or revel in your own monsterousness, or find meaning in it. The Wanton Curse gives you Anne Rice vampires, or Solomon Birch obsessed with his family of Ghouls. The Mekhet all have hidden weaknesses imposed on them.

                    The way I generally make my Ventrue is to just take a person and put them close to power -- but I don't know that their clan adds anything itself.


                    • #11
                      Maybe we have it backwards because we are use to getting the Venture package all at once?

                      The Lonely Curse causes the Venture to see people as lesser, as objects. As a result, their Beast develops Dominate.

                      I see what you mean though; I often try to rework the Venture Curse as a result. However, the advice stands. Venture are humans first; they have as much variety as humanity and even if the curse was dffierent, their core personality would be the same.
                      Last edited by Tabanese; 05-22-2019, 01:18 PM.


                      • #12
                        I think the core book already does a good job portraying different types of Ventrue.

                        A Ventrue can be anyone or anything and the only common theme that unites them all is their aloofness and their ability to command and control those around them.

                        Here are some ideas:

                        1. You can be a mafiosi crime boss who controls a vast organized crime syndicate.
                        2. You can be the mistress of New York City's mayor, the true power behind the throne, using the mayor as your puppet.
                        3. You can be a filthy elderly man who controls a large group of homeless children, orphans, pickpockets and muggers who steal and spy for you.
                        4. You can be a dog trainer who makes a fortune with illegal underground hound pits, in which your familiar and ghoul dogs win every single time.
                        5. You can be a therapist, using your clients as your minions, turning them into sleeper agents with Dominate.
                        6. Or perhaps you are a Catholic priest. When people come to confess their sins, you tell them what they have to do for their absolution, and you make sure they actually do it.
                        7. Or maybe you are the best damn sheriff in town, your deputies are always loyal to you and when you interrogate suspects they always speak the truth.


                        • #13
                          The Aloof Curse I feel is detrimental to them actually being aloof. Some might lose Humanity a little bit quicker because they have fewer attached Touchstones and thus a single die fewer on detachment checks, or they might fall into Torpor at a higher rate because they have no attached Touchstones, but neither is particularly interesting in play. As a player you'll do your best to have attached Touchstones, and it's not that relevant for NPCs unless the ST randomly decides that they fall into Torpor without player input. The only interesting angle I can see is that players have an easier time going after a Ventrue NPCs Touchstones in order to strike at the NPC.
                          Otherwise, Ventrue tend to have one more Touchstone than other Kindred at the same Humanity levels, which is the exact opposite of being aloof. The Aloof Curse doesn't mechanically make it harder to form relationships or care about people; it in fact creates an incentive for Ventrue to do so more than other Kindred.
                          It's basically like saying that an extrovert who has a greater need for social interactions is distant because they become depressed if they don't fulfil that need. No, they're quite the opposite.

                          So yeah, it's basically their access to Dominate that defines what a Ventrue is.

                          Bloodline: The Stygians
                          Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
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                          • #14
                            I always thought the clan book was good for that, giving point of view perspectives or interviews with assorted Ventrue. And one of my go tos is the example Princes in Damnation City, the Ventrue one being the King, a gangland tyrant.


                            • #15
                              I love the Ventrue, but yeah, they can be a little hard to nail down in a way that's unique. A storyteller once told a Ventrue character of mine, "Power is a swirling, undefinable vortex. A kaleidoscopic amalgam of concepts that change depending on where it's viewed from. Those on the ground see one thing. Those above see another. But, no matter how it's interpreted or defined, there is always a Ventrue there, clawing their way to the top." Desire for power doesn't define a Ventrue, though. It's an intrinsic need for authority, respect and order (the latter being something VERY loosely defined. There can be plenty of Ven who would love some organized chaos...). Power has a tendency to beget these things, and thus they pursue it.

                              There's a segment in the Requiem Ventrue handbook that's really helpful. It's an interview with a Ventrue who has carved out a niche as Lord of the Crappy Trailer Park. He isn't suave, genteel or particularly hard working. He is, at face, all those things that Ventrue purport NOT to be, and yet he has done everything the Ventrue value. He has "friends" who are now ghouls, he has blood dolls aplenty. He has respect and authority, and thus, at least among those denizens of the trailer park, power. He has created order that is amenable to him.

                              Ventrue are embraced fractured, and their deeds as Neonates will resonate with them throughout their Requiem. A Ventrue will always find their place, or so they'd have you believe, and once they do it stains them. Kindred are unchanging, the world is not. I use this sentiment with Elders especially, fleshing out a time (real or imagined) where they had achieved an equilibrium of authority and respect. As the relentless march of time breaks down the order they've established for themselves, there is a compulsory need to recreate it. If centuries have passed, this nostalgia can be warped into things truly perverse.

                              Here are a few of the NPC's I work with:

                              He's as fledgling as fledgling gets, less than a decade into undeath. A Gray Hat hacker in his breathing days, his curiosity and occasionally vindictive bents led him to see things he shouldn't. Thus, the Invictus offered him a choice; eternity plus dental or a shallow grave. Though he briefly flirted with the notion of joining the Carthians, his skill and value were recognized and rewarded by his newfound associates. He's the Herald now, having ousted a Kindred one brass bell short of "hear ye, hear ye!" He's got a taste for power now. For respect. But still, in those wee hours before dawn, there creeps a shred of fear. What happens when the world outpaces his affinities? Will he resemble the Prince some day, a man who has to remind himself not to drop pistols after the first shot? That's a problem for another night. Still, he's started a little file of things he shouldn't have seen. Maybe it'll come in handy some day.

                              They call her the Lord of the Red Light District. Her veneer is pure Venture; beautiful of visage, poised, effortlessly graceful and utterly ruthless. Her breathing days have left their scars, though. She was once a slave. Kidnapped by sex traffickers in Eastern Europe, she was shipped to the US in the mid 80's. She was abused, leashed with drugs, forced to endure human horrors that would break most. But she never broke. She resisted, always, a futile bulwark between her fellow prisoners and their tormentors. Sold to a Venture for her willfulness and age (she was 27), she should have spent her remaining years as a member of his herd. Still, she resisted. Enamored with this mortal, and for her possession of distinctly Ventrue attributes, he embraced her. She killed him shortly after, escaping with his herd. She walked a bloody path to the city she now resides in, carved her place into the meat of the red light district. She sees herself as a liberator. Her dominion has been good for the mortals who work there. She supports the abused, rehabilitates the addicted, tends to the sick, and stomps those who would use the forms of control she suffered into a bloody pulp. Everyone, Kindred and Kine, knows what becomes of any who harm those sex workers, escorts, dancers, anyone who bears the voluntary tattoo which serves as her mark. The streets are interspersed with her "daughters," those ghouls she has made and empowered with the might of her blood. They are her eyes, her hands, her fists. Behind the poise is desperation, to keep her handmade family safe. Is she aware of the irony? The brands? Her daughter's leash of Kindred Vitae? It would be best, perhaps, not to ask her.

                              She's been on the primogen council since the beginning. She's held domain longer than anyone. Her face is known, universal, among all the city's undead. Some despise her, some admire her, most fear her. They fear her power, certainly. They fear her wrath. But most of all, they fear her madness. She is a childe of the Old World, of the Italian city states, of nobility when such a thing had more poignant gravitas. She doesn't remember it. Not truly. Centuries have washed away the rough edges, the failures, the pain. In her mind is the portrait of a paragon, a merchant queen possessed of saintly devotion to God and the Pope of Rome, banished by jealous cousins to this strange country which has now become her home. The city's politics come as easily to her as breathing once did, and she is left to paddle in the dark haze of a past she intrinsically knows is false but cannot bring herself to contemplate the alternative. She struggles for relevance of a mortal stripe; popularity, adoration. She demands these things! She DESERVES THEM! So, she selects those mortals that intrigue her, plying them with Lord's Words, forcing them to consume whatever she places before them; fruit, flowers, metal shavings, essential oils. For days this will go on until they are made to consume the wine that is produced in her ancestral homeland. They drink until they are certain to expire. Then she drains them, bottles them, serves them at Elysium and her personal soirees. For a night she gets to feel that love again. Or at least she chooses to believe that.