Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Embrace as punishment?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Embrace as punishment?

    Often in the narrative of Vampire I see examples of mortals who are Embraced because of a given violation against their sire, a vampire who hated them so much that they give them "the worst punishment they could think of." And I find that interesting, that some vampires see the Embrace as a fate worse than death, not just the Nosferatu with their hideousness but also other Clans.

    Personally I found this as a useful plot device to justify some Embraces and give a few characters clear motivations and insight on the Requiem, but I like to see other opinions, do you use this justification? Why or why not.

  • #2
    It's usually one of the main reason my Lancea et Sanctum npc embrace someone, as a form of punishement/penance. The Lancea et Sanctum views on the requiem make them the perfect candidate for punishing someone with the embrace, i did use this justification once when, i ran a dark age campaign and the player that got embraced by the local Bishop as penance for her sins liked it, but the embrace was a result of the action of her character and their mentality, she had comitted grievious sins and was looking to repent, so the situation was perfect.


    .

    Comment


    • #3
      Yes. There's been cases of vampires using the Embrace as punishment in my settings. In one instance, not because he thought it was a fate worse than death, (he doesn't) but because it was going to take her longer than a human lifetime to make reparations for the destruction and mass murder she perpetrated and celebrated at the time and he wanted to make sure he could track her down and drag her back to finish if she tried to flee.

      The bishop of the Lancea et Sanctum believes the embrace is a fitting punishment for certain serial and mass murderers. Sometimes hanging or the electric chair isn't sufficient punishment.

      Comment


      • #4
        Other Covenants and clans may produce similar views: Gangrel who intend to run the character down continually as a more optimized prey--or who transgressed against their territory in some way. Ventrue who decided the character has caused so much trouble and/or is witness to too much vampiric behavior and must be made to clean it up. Circle who decide the character will make a better vitae source than a blood source (especially males).

        Really, embrace could follow just about any time when a vamp is annoyed enough and thinks a character would make a better blood-bonded whipping-boy (or girl, or whatever) as well as they "have to do it themselves to get it done right".

        I have characters in my game who are likely to earn the embrace because of the vast amounts of trouble they will end up causing, and not necessarily because they're an asset to the vamps in question. They just need to be kept an eye on more closely, as well as "put to work."

        --Khanwulf

        Comment


        • #5
          I think having it as the 'worst punishment they could think of' is really silly and if I ever saw it I'd roll my eyes pretty hard and assume that they didn't want to punish them at all, or the writer or storyteller wanted that character to be a vampire and this is their excuse for it. Especially given the investment required for Embracing. If the worst punishment you could think of is immortality that is escaped by going outside in the sun, perhaps the most passive method to suicide ever, then the vampire is not very imaginative.

          Comment


          • #6
            I don't know that it fits for Requiem but in literature turning someone into a vampire as punishment involves either staking them, locking them in aware paralysis, locking them in a room with their loved ones so that the first hunger drives them to kill those they care about, or sealing them in a chamber they can't escape so that their unending hunger eats away at them (pun intended).

            If the vampire could force obedience upon the embraced then I could see some doing it so they can lord it over their defeated opponent.

            If the target was a vampire hunter than it might be done to let them see what it's like, oh and enjoy having all of your old friends hunt you for a change.

            Comment


            • #7
              "Upon this, one has to remark that men ought either to be well treated or crushed, because they can avenge themselves of lighter injuries, of more serious ones they cannot; therefore the injury that is to be done to a man ought to be of such a kind that one does not stand in fear of revenge." - Machiavelli
              Using the Embrace as punishment seems like a really awful idea, unless you can arrange it so that they are absolutely certain to die very quickly after. Even then, you've just spent Humanity (even if in-world the concept may not exist) for no good reason.

              Comment


              • #8
                "The worst thing I can do to you is make you more like me" is a pretty heavy statement to be handing down, and says a lot about the self-image of the person doing it.

                I don't think I'd want to go down that road unless I was in a mood to explore what's going on inside the head of the sire who does it.

                (And the "punish someone by making them Nosferatu" thing is a staple of the franchise, but not one I'm fond of. Particularly not the tendency to make it a punishment for vanity.)


                Cavaliers of Mars Creator
                Retired CofD Lead

                Check out my guides to Vampire and my indie games!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Had an oWoD Path of Nighter who did that sort of thing as a punishment but specifically as a sort of last-ditch hail-Mary to salvage a soul. Basically, if someone was impious enough that he couldn't seem to scare them straight, he'd turn them into a vampire in the hopes that they'd have the same reaction that he'd had. If not, well, one less monster was all right by him.


                  Grump, grouse, and/or gripe.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by nofather View Post
                    I think having it as the 'worst punishment they could think of' is really silly and if I ever saw it I'd roll my eyes pretty hard and assume that they didn't want to punish them at all, or the writer or storyteller wanted that character to be a vampire and this is their excuse for it. Especially given the investment required for Embracing. If the worst punishment you could think of is immortality that is escaped by going outside in the sun, perhaps the most passive method to suicide ever, then the vampire is not very imaginative.
                    I personally think the sire is justified to some extent if they see the Requiem as something worse than death. Maybe they see death as too quick a punishment, and they want to watch from afar as the childe defile themselves in a cycle of neverending monstrosity. Maybe the sire has a horrible self-image and they _think_ that the Embrace is the worst thing possible. Maybe they are right. I don't see it as something eye rolling necessarily, it depends on who does it and why.

                    Also I can see no emotional drive to Embrace someone stronger than intense hatred and desire to see them suffer, that's enough to justify the Humanity loss.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Rose Bailey View Post
                      "The worst thing I can do to you is make you more like me" is a pretty heavy statement to be handing down, and says a lot about the self-image of the person doing it.

                      I don't think I'd want to go down that road unless I was in a mood to explore what's going on inside the head of the sire who does it.

                      (And the "punish someone by making them Nosferatu" thing is a staple of the franchise, but not one I'm fond of. Particularly not the tendency to make it a punishment for vanity.)
                      I think extremely negative self-image is a good explanation here, but it's one out of many.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Shawarbaaz View Post
                        I personally think the sire is justified to some extent if they see the Requiem as something worse than death. Maybe they see death as too quick a punishment, and they want to watch from afar as the childe defile themselves in a cycle of neverending monstrosity. Maybe the sire has a horrible self-image and they _think_ that the Embrace is the worst thing possible. Maybe they are right. I don't see it as something eye rolling necessarily, it depends on who does it and why.
                        My point was more that if a sire thinks the Requiem as something worse than death, then they're operating on some weird paradigm, and levels of such horrible self-image that it's hard to imagine them really engaging with humanity to the point that they would bother 'punishing' someone with their status. Regarding humanity's usual punishments of torture, imprisonment, death, mutilation, and exile, any of these can be doubled down upon with a drop of Vitae and a point of Willpower, making a victim an addict and immortal, rather than making someone a vampire. I roll my eyes because it seems contrived. Like if I said, 'What's the worst thing you can imagine ever happening to you, write it down, and it's going to happen to you?' Who could honestly say becoming an effective immortal with supernatural powers who can shrug off most mortal concerns is the absolute worst? You're making yourself immune to 8 of the 10 most common causes of death, and 4 of the 5 top worries of people.

                        It reminds me of this, from when Beastly was being advertised.



                        Also I can see no emotional drive to Embrace someone stronger than intense hatred and desire to see them suffer, that's enough to justify the Humanity loss.
                        Really? Nothing? Because throughout the books there's a lot of reasons to embrace people stronger than hating them. Not wanting to be alone tops the list. Not wanting to be without them. Even rewarding them out of pride for some action or deed or uniqueness.

                        All that said, the idea that change from your situation is inherently bad is sort of a common theme in media that seems designed to keep people from wanting change enough to do something about it. It's the subject of some movies with some really awful lessons about staying where you are, and a vampire sharing that mindset suggests the vampire is less self-hating and more naive. Yes, there's downsides to vampirism. No, it's not the worst thing that could ever happen to you. And even doing it to an enemy is only going to put them on your level.
                        Last edited by nofather; 08-09-2019, 05:15 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by nofather View Post

                          Who could honestly say becoming an effective immortal with supernatural powers who can shrug off most mortal concerns is the absolute worst?
                          See, this is true naivety, you look at all the abysmal advantages of being a vampire and ignore all the more personal disadvantages that are plenty, both internal and external; the Beast, the hunger, the social isolation, and not to mention the society of predators that are your kin for eternity and who embody the old saying "hell is other people." This is like looking at Prometheans and saying "Cool I can live for a hundred years and have multitudes of powers!" It does a disservice to the game and its message, because what might seem glamorous and cool to us right now, when we have the privilege of enjoying the human condition, will be mourned in its absence. It might not be the worst thing that can happen to you, certainly, but to some vampires it is, and those vampires might sire specific mortals so they could taste their own misery.

                          Also "most mortal concerns" will seem like bliss once you get involved with vampiric concerns.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Shawarbaaz View Post
                            See, this is true naivety, you look at all the abysmal advantages of being a vampire and ignore all the more personal disadvantages that are plenty, both internal and external; the Beast, the hunger, the social isolation, and not to mention the society of predators that are your kin for eternity and who embody the old saying "hell is other people."
                            That was a saying that didn't require any supernatural investment. Hell can be other people without being immortal. Social isolation and a hunger that can't be sated are real life things. That's why they are often used as punishments.

                            This is like looking at Prometheans and saying "Cool I can live for a hundred years and have multitudes of powers!" It does a disservice to the game and its message, because what might seem glamorous and cool to us right now, when we have the privilege of enjoying the human condition, will be mourned in its absence. It might not be the worst thing that can happen to you, certainly, but to some vampires it is, and those vampires might sire specific mortals so they could taste their own misery.
                            I didn't say it was 'cool,' don't shift goalposts. Your argument is that it is the worst punishment conceivable, mine is that 'it isn't the worst thing imaginable,' and I've explained why. None of those explanations were that it's 'cool,' the comic was merely a similar aside. And it's not like looking at Promethean and saying that, because Promethean is a different game about becoming human when you're a lump of clay. You asked about vampire. Specifically you said,
                            but I like to see other opinions
                            If you only want opinions that agree with you, then be more up front about it. But for most vampires we've seen their existence isn't the worst thing that happened to them. Even if their Embrace was horrible, they've often found some means to deal with it (there's entire covenants dedicated to this) and many have found much worse ends afterward.

                            Also "most mortal concerns" will seem like bliss once you get involved with vampiric concerns.
                            Do you not understand what can happen to people? Their bodies reject them, tumors riddle their bodies until they can't move because they're in constant pain. People starve to death in some of the most privileged nations in the world because they are too physically feeble to call for help. A hereditary disorder like Huntington's puts your life on a timer a fraction the length of everyone elses as it kills the nerve cells in your brain. 8 out of 10 deaths in the US are caused by disease. Gone, not an issue. Health care, not an issue. Of the other 2, accidental injury and suicide, even the lethality of injury can be sidestepped by most vampires. And suicide is just as much an option as a vampire, but that escape can be taken away by mundane punishments.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I've been thinking a lot about what actually sucks about being a vampire. Because nofather is right, being a superpowered immortal is pretty cool. The powers are a big part of why we play the game. Both because they allow us to create stories that we otherwise couldn't with unpowered immortals, and because the power fantasy is nice. And frankly, not getting old and sick sounds pretty great.

                              Losing the sun would suck. Working a night shift gets old fast. All that lost time would drive me crazy. But people cope with less than ideal environments all the time.

                              The frenzy probably weighs on their minds a lot. The threat that you might become uncontrollable and hurt someone is a big deal. But I imagine it's analogous to something like a panic disorder. You have to perform the self care, and you need to pay very close attention to how the environment is affecting you. You'll have to skip out on events you wanted to go to, and some people will never understand. It'll be frustrating and embarrassing and it'll never be easy. But with therapy and a good support system, I imagine you can live a good life filled with meaningful events and relationships.

                              It's the unholy blood lust that seems like it'd be the worst. It's presented similarly to addiction, and recovering addicts say things like how they would never wish addiction on anybody. But the way addiction works is a combination of reliance and tolerance. With tolerance you keep needing to up the dosage. We know that vampires do gain a tolerance, but it's very slow. It scales with their BP, over the course of decades, and is fixed with a bout of torpor. Reliance seems like the big problem. With reliance your body starts treating a nonessential substance as a necessity. But people who are food insecure act a lot like addicts.

                              So the issue with the thirst for blood is that your food is scarce. You can't just ask someone for their blood -- you're actively hurting them. You have to weasel it out of them. And you can't take too much because that will cause too real harm. But you have to balance your needs, because if you don't you'll frenzy. And just think of the shame and guilt you'll feel when a stranger catches you huddled over a body in an alleyway. No, better to lie and coerce.

                              But why wouldn't people just give you blood? People donate blood all the time. If we had a sizeable sub-population with very restrictive dietary needs, wouldn't we be able to come up with some sort of system to help them? It's both a public health issue and a public safety issue. A government program that monetarily incentivizes people to donate blood regularly doesn't seem too implausible. Then we can give vampires something like SNAP benefits or vouchers. And we can monitor who isn't drinking enough blood and identify high-risk licks -- maybe they're starving themselves out of shame and we can perform early intervention, or because they are getting their blood through other means and we can insure their methods are humane and uncoersive.

                              What I'm getting at is that the shittiest thing about being a vampire (aside from spooky owl demons) is the Masqurade. Without the Masqurade, you could maintain relationships long after people notice you never age. You could get help, and have people understand when you freak out. The Masqurade forces your very existence into criminality -- the way you sustain yourself with food, the way you support yourself fincancially. Just filling out government paperwork pushes you towards criminality because the buildings are only open during daylight hours. And then there's all those toxic individuals who make up vampire society. Those assholes use the Masqurade as a weapon when they go after your loved ones and put your feeding at risk, and then they hide behind the Masqurade when you can't go to the police to report them. Often you have to resort to violence or other toxic behaviors, just perpetuating the problem.

                              Anyway, I guess my point is that if you're sick of hiding, and think that maybe there could be a better way, then you can get in on the fight against the Invictus. Join your local Carthian chapter. We're always looking for volunteers.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X