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  • #16



    Originally posted by Ssudd387 View Post
    It's an intrinsic need for... order... Power has a tendency to beget these things, and thus they pursue it.

    ...snip... 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.
    This makes a lot of sense for me and fits well with the "workaholic" thing. The problem I've been having is that I can't imagine what the "average" Ventrue is like? What are the mooks like? (American Psycho-type yuppie seems to step on the Invictus' heels and is a bit one-note)?

    Better question: What does a Ventrue social worker look like? Somebody who only wants to help people in a very ground-level way and isn't interested in power. In a game that's more personal than it is political.

    The 1e Ventrue theme is something along the lines of "power currupts". So a 1e Social Worker might start Dominating her patients into wellness, or going after Social Security buerocrats to make sure her patients are taken care of -- and maybe get a little extra HUD for herself on the side. So I guess the arc is something like "Take whatever power the character has, and make it twisted." I rather like that take because it foregrounds a particular central conflict -- do you get corrupted or do you work extra hard to remain "pure".

    I like your conception because it frames the Ventrue story as one about finding one's place in the world, and then ruining it (either for oneself or for everyone else). I can see where the horror


    ...Ventrue who has carved out a niche as Lord of the Crappy Trailer Park.
    I love the Trailer Park King and have kidnapped him for my current game (and plopped him in a projects). His (and The Mogul's) discussion on the nature of power/control was really useful for me. I've also stolen The Premier from Damnation City.



    They call her the Lord of the Red Light District. Her veneer is pure Venture;
    I've actually got a very similar NPC in my game. I used Esme's backstory (from an abusive ghoul family), but I like yours a lot.


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    • #17
      "The 1e Ventrue theme is something along the lines of "power currupts". So a 1e Social Worker might start Dominating her patients into wellness, or going after Social Security buerocrats to make sure her patients are taken care of -- and maybe get a little extra HUD for herself on the side. So I guess the arc is something like "Take whatever power the character has, and make it twisted." I rather like that take because it foregrounds a particular central conflict -- do you get corrupted or do you work extra hard to remain "pure"."

      With a few words, a Ventrue social worker is uniquely poised to easily rip apart the mortal families of another kindred who has pissed them off. (Or their touchstones or their ghouls, herd, retainers etc.) with the government bureaucracy as a shield. Have children taken out of "abusive" homes, report rehab failures or parole violations. Or make those issues "go away" for a favor.

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      • #18
        Ventrue mooks, eh? In my conception of the Venture, they almost never embrace arbitrarily. There's always a reason for them to exist. Naturally there are outliers, but I don't think it's a bad generalization. In the case of the workaholics, the work may not necessarily be their personal work but rather a function of the local Kindred power or that of their sires. Yes, their unlives are wrapped in the work, but they can cultivate power from within it. Some are content as middle management, but for others? Finding a seat at the higher table can be a great motivator and source for inspiration. Some potential generic concepts to throw around: Union steward, mob enforcer, church deacon, an assistant to a coven's priest/ess, night manager at a fast food restaurant.

        Now the Ventrue Social Worker? I love everything about it. For that character, do a deep dive into their motivation. What rewards to they derive from their work, and where does it come from? Are they genuinely altruistic, truly wanting to make others lives better? Or do they secretly, quietly, get off on having power over those who have little? What happens after a few decades of seeing the same thing over and over, the same people wearing different faces? What becomes of them on that fateful night when a troublesome client shows up and the beast has its way? How do their convictions stand in the face of the tattered, blood drained corpse of a person they were dedicated to helping, regardless of their personal impressions of them?

        If and when they do dominate a client, draw on how the character feels about it? Do they feel guilty? Do they loose some of that empathy that made them choose this work? When they're trapped under piles of red tape, what is their response? When that same foster family you've tried to report over and over gets another child, do you flex your lordly muscles? How many times will this happen before you break? And what happens when your effectiveness is noticed, and that power you've never wanted is thrust upon you?

        This may not be precisely what you're looking for, but I'm glad to help.

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        • #19
          That was exactly what I was looking for. The problem I was having was ultimately where to find the tragedy in the social worker's story, and I think you hit right on it.

          One of the things I always seem to forget is that the time scales we're dealing with are decades rather than years. I think being worn down by the monotony of so many people, feeling like you never make any progress, is exactly the way to go.

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          • #20
            I had a thought when I woke up. You may find it additionally helpful, especially if you're trying to draw tragedy from the character. Ennui, frustration, the ravages of the Beast, and time's dissolution of your empathy are great options. They're also rather generic. That tragedy could fit a Daeva or Mekhet just as well as it could your Ventrue. I had some notions that may be more specific to a Lord's mind and personality.

            Take the aforementioned foster family, two people who should never care for children, yet are somehow beyond reproach no matter how much you batter against it. Say you discover another Kindred's influence at play, someone with pull on the bureaucracy, someone with a taste for innocence. Or pain. These two are just ghouls, bound servants. The problem is greater. Paranoia and possessiveness are both very Lordly paths to hell. How DARE they prey on these people? They are yours! Every face in every file that goes across your desk. You protect them, you lift them up! The beast gnaws at guilt as much as it leaves seeping wounds of rage. Who do you have to bend or break to stop this? Then you look at the files again and paranoia starts to corrode the foundations of your faith in the system you serve. You see the runaways, the accidental overdoses, the cases that fell through the cracks. Are they all what they seem? Does your mind start to form patterns (true or not)? How many innocent lives have been snuffed or ruined because of Kindred who do not share your altruistic designs?

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            • #21
              I think the rule books mention that if a Ventrue isn't rich and powerful before their embrace, they usually become so afterward. So you could take inspiration from stories in which somebody in the upper class decides to take pity on the poor and impoverished, as they take it upon themselves to transform the person into a productive member of society. Your character starts at the bottom, and through enough drive and hard work, they climb the ranks of society until they stand among the elite. Whether they proudly boast about their humble origins, or suppress the knowledge out of shame depends on how you design their personality, though.

              But the one thing to keep in mind about the Ventrue is that they are, first and foremost, leaders of the community. While everybody else is squabbling over trying to make a decision, the Ventrue are the ones who get shit done. They don't always have to be the owner of a big corporation, or the shadowy hand behind the politician. They just have to be the one that everybody listens to when it's time to take action.

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              • #22
                How DARE they prey on these people? They are yours!
                Yeah, this is a really good way of looking at detatchment. Rather than just becoming distant or disinterested, or the patients becoming resentful, the social worker feels a sense of ownership.

                They don't always have to be the owner of a big corporation, or the shadowy hand behind the politician. They just have to be the one that everybody listens to when it's time to take action.
                I like this characterization a lot.

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