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'Good' vampires in VtR 2E - How possible?

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  • wyrdhamster
    started a topic 'Good' vampires in VtR 2E - How possible?

    'Good' vampires in VtR 2E - How possible?

    As the meme below - How possible is to play 'good' vampire in now Requiem? Characters like Angel from Buffy, Edward Compton from True Blood or other 'I will not kill humans'


  • Gellydog
    replied
    More interesting question: What kind of "Good Vampire" do you want to be? You're not human, but even "saintly" humans like Gandhi or Mother Teresa have aspects to them that can make you go, "uh....hrm." Nobody is 100% "good," so the real choice is deciding where your character is going to focus their energies.
    • A Ventrue that protects his neighborhood from drugs and gang violence....by taking over any gangs that try to move in, and ruthlessly suppressing anyone who steps out of line.
    • A Nosferatu that nurtures and helps the homeless population, giving them a reason to keep on going....except, real estate developers have started disappearing, pretty much anytime they start talking about "fixing up" the town's blight.
    • The city's stray animal population is thriving, as a Gangrel devotes her nights to ensuring everyone's got enough to eat and a safe place to sleep. There have been a few people complaining, but they shut up after some mysterious vandalism.
    • Auspex lets the Mekhet make sure that nobody on the East Side lays a hand on their spouse. But when you've got your ear to every door, what happens when you hear something you wish you hadn't?
    And so on! None of these cases are meant to be 100% good or bad; they're just people doing people things, and they happen to be vampires.

    Leave a comment:


  • Tomorrow's Nobody
    replied
    Heavy Arms you're not wrong, but I will say that in my game with my slightly-altered system, Touchstones attached to lower Humanity dots are easier to maintain. That isn't to say they are somehow easier persuaded or easier to empathize with, but that the type of relationship and the quality of the relationship doesn't have to be as strong as the higher-dot Touchstone. For example, a Humanity 3 Nosferatu may have his ex-girlfriend as a Touchstone attached to Humanity 3. In my game, stalking that ex-girlfriend and protecting her from her rapey new boyfriend by making sure he doesn't dare touch her without consent, counts as a "meaningful interaction with a Touchstone" in my game.

    My reasoning is that low Humanity vampires require less depth from their Touchstone interactions to keep them anchored. As their worldview twists by their dwindling humanity, what counts as "meaningful" also gets twisted.

    That is probably not how it's meant to be played by default, but I like it that way for my own games.

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  • Heavy Arms
    replied
    The -1 by itself really isn't that bad. It's stacking multiples here the math starts to get harsh. Even so, having three Banes and two or more attached Touchstones is a net wash. As well, that -3 can be for some pretty significant amount of not having to roll depending on what you pick and your chronicle.

    Moving the penalty to stacking with the Humanity modifier isn't an inherently bad idea, but it seems like it wouldn't have that big of an impact in the long run. Worse rolls dealing with humans means more trouble maintaining and replacing Touchstones, leading to worse Detachment rolls, leading to more penalties, and so on. A -3 to Detachment rolls can be mitigated by the +3 from Touchstones. Losing all your Touchstones because you're incapable of socializing with humans puts you at a 0 or -2 that you can't do anything about. It just seems like more steps to get to a harsher ending.

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  • Tomorrow's Nobody
    replied
    I second what Heavy Arms says.

    I do want to say that I personally never liked the -1 penalty on Detachment rolls acquired banes give. It's too big of a penalty for basically striping one of your "sins" off your "list of sins". Does anyone else feel that way?

    In my chronicles, I replaced the -1 penalty on future Detachment rolls from acquired banes with a -1 penalty on future rolls to relate to humans (for example Empathy rolls). This stacks with the (potential) penalty from your Humanity rating. This does indeed mean that in my chronicles, vampires with a low Humanity rating and 3 acquired banes have a really hard time interacting with humans in a humane way, which is intentional.

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  • Heavy Arms
    replied
    While that seems a cool way to play things for a given character, it's not really how taking a Bane is presented in the books.

    Banes are a meta-level choice by players, not an active choice by the characters. VtR 2e core calls them "scars" that form on a vampire's psyche from the trauma of their actions rather than normal tissue. When a vampire gains a Bane, it's not an active denial, but a subconscious callous that protects them from the pain of being reminded of their inhuman nature in the same way again.

    It's also hard to describe this dynamic as "partially functioning socio-/psychopath." If a vampire kills someone while feeding, losing Humanity, and as a result becomes numb to the emotional pain of feeling like a monster from harming people while feeding in the future, the pain of becoming more of a monster weighs on them with the awareness a sociopath generally wouldn't be bothered by: that pesky -1 penalty to all future Detachment rolls. Their ability to come to some level of terms with one breaking point only further reminds them of what a monster they are, and risks their ability to resist harder. But it's also just a -1, which isn't going to tank your Humanity by itself. Multiple attached Touchstones is still a +3, so a net of +2 means you pass most Detachment checks (and get Beats for the results, making it easier to increase Humanity back up).

    While, to an extent, a bit meta-gamey for many people, how bad that is really depends on what Banes you take and for what Detachment checks. A high Humanity vampire with Banes that mostly focus on things completely outside a vampire's control, or at least things they can't simply avoid if they're going to drink blood, can avoid rolling unless someone is actively trying to mess with them. Not 100% of course, but if their main risks for checks are all things that require a vampire to make some specific choices, well they can just not do those things. Of course, this isn't necessarily a vary interesting PC in most games considering the heavy regimentation on their unlife needed to pull this off. But it's a rather high functioning approach.

    A mid-level Humanity vampire that develops Banes mostly around active choices is a lot more risk of spiraling out of control, and coming off as a semi-functioning psycho. Their Humanity is still at risk from the various checks that just happen, they don't suffer checks for a small handful of pretty awful things, and so on.

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  • maekkel
    replied
    There is one big factor that changes Humanity in VTR 2e from VTM (<5): Banes that offer "Sin exclusions".

    Like said above:
    Don´t do the bad thing, when it´s convenient or even reasonable.

    Weirdly - with the Morality-bane system, it might be possible to hold on to a higher Humanity, than a Vampire who does not choose to deepen their curse with banes.
    Which changes the vampire into partially functioning socio-/psychopath. Accquiring a bane is the radical thing against giving in to the beast. Denial. Instead of taking responsibility for what you while in control or not, you just delegate the shame to the Beast. A bane like: "If i kill while feeding - it´s not my fault. It´s the beast´s!" is prime example of this denial, to keep the rest of their humanity intact.


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  • Leandro16
    replied
    Just choose to be good despite all the adversity?! I guess

    Golconda didnt disappear I would say it is integrated into coils and the mechancis like humanity allowing you to sunwalk if high enought at low BP.

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  • ArcaneArts
    replied
    The rules are simple but hard to execute:

    Don't be an asshole.

    Leave a comment:


  • Tomorrow's Nobody
    replied
    I think playing a vampire trying to be a good person is definitely a fun concept to play.

    Key word being trying, since as a vampire you're going to struggle with a lot of extra baggage you didn't have to deal with as a human, and you're fundamentally an undead monster preying on the blood of the living. You can argue that feeding on animals isn't any eviler than humans eating pigs, cows, and chickens, but everywhere you go you will be tempted to feed your addiction; because don't be fooled, vampires don't just eat blood to fuel their unnatural existence, they are obsessed with it, borderline addicted to it, like an emotional eater eating himself into obesity because eating Burger King temporarily makes him forget about his depression. Going to a public gathering place is like being a crack addict on a cocaine plantation. And what will you do once you reach Blood Potency 3 and feeding on animals isn't an option anymore? Go into torpor for 25 years? You could, but do you really want to? Maybe feeding on humans isn't so bad. Just one bite... what could possibly go wrong?

    But yes, you can play Loui if you want, you don't have to be Lestat. But being Loui is hard and the temptation to become Lestat is always there.

    ​Also, what Black Flag said, I second that take too.
    Last edited by Tomorrow's Nobody; 02-23-2020, 04:58 PM.

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  • Black Flag
    replied
    It’s a perfectly valid concept. There’s nothing stopping a vampire from trying to be a good person by human standards. Key word is trying, but that’s the same for humans, isn’t it? We try to be good people, but capitalism and patriarchy and institutional racism and imperialism make it impossible not to be involved with systems of exploitation. Vampire is basically a metaphor for that.

    Blood-drinking and ghouling and territory/herd management are all inherently exploitative on some level, as are a lot of basic vampire powers, but there are lots of ways to mitigate the harm. Even if the power dynamic is skewed, you don’t have to feed from unwilling victims, you don’t have to kill when you feed, and you don’t have to use mind control etc. At least not usually. But doing the wrong thing may be much more convenient than doing the right thing, as it so often is.

    In other words, while there are challenges to being high-Humanity*, and while peers who are willing to make more compromises will sneer**, it’s totally doable in the system and setting. The challenges are not meant to dissuade players from attempting it, but rather to provide dramatic tension between the character’s needs as a vampire and their desire to be the least bad monster they can be.

    *Having high Humanity isn’t exactly the same as being a good person, but it is a prerequisite to maintaining human-like feelings of compassion etc., as opposed to just going through the motions for the sake of the Masquerade. Very low-Humanity vamps might not even see the point in faking it. That said, the vampire who doesn’t really sympathize with mortals anymore but tries to behave in a conventionally moral fashion for other reasons (e.g. for the sake of a Touchstone) also strikes me as a valid concept.

    **And really, those who truly give in to the Beast are the villains of the story and dwell outside the mainstream of vampire society. All the PC types have to find some equilibrium. It’s just that many will find it easier to do so a bit further down the Humanity scale. So of course like most morally compromised people, they will encourage others to make similar compromises and resent those that don’t.
    Last edited by Black Flag; 01-05-2020, 06:29 PM.

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  • tsusasi
    replied
    If the metric of being a "good person" is simply to refrain from killing someone, vampires can qualify for Roman Catholic sainthood since their powers can enable them to pull off miracles. Not killing someone doesn't make you a good person. Nor do "vampires" corner the market for vile behavior.
    Humans are quite proficient at being evil assholes without any help or supernatural compulsion.

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  • Heavy Arms
    replied
    One of the things VtR 2e is good at, is making sure that being a "good" vampire is hard by making it complicated instead of mechanically difficult. The mechanics of maintaining high Humanity, and resisting Frenzy (the two biggest things a good vampire is going to be concerned with in that regard) are fairly straight forward.

    The stumbling blocks are in putting it into practice.

    As an example:

    Feeding off of animals is a strategy a vampire can take to avoid hurting humans. However, it doesn't last forever. As a vampire's Blood Potency increases (which it does automatically over time even if you don't put XP into it), they lose access to animals as food. But there's a solution there: voluntary torpor to reduce Blood Potency back to animal blood eating levels.

    But... going into torpor regularly has its own problems. Maintaining your Touchstones (key to keeping your Humanity up) is really hard if you're taking 25 year dirt naps on a regular basis.

    Trying to balance "doing the least harm in feeding," with, "keeping emotional bonds with humans to remember what you once were," is where things get hard, which makes playing a good vampire interesting.

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  • Reighnhell
    replied
    Re: The Good Vampire

    As mentioned, maintaining Humanity, even decency is a core element of the game. You can be a good vampire,even a heroic one. But Vampire is not a game where you can mark Lawful Good on your sheet and call it done.

    It is going to require work. Everything in a vampire's existence, from the society they are a part of, to the urges in their own mind, are callous, selfish and violent. The requiem actively rewards the wicked. To be what most people consider "good" (compassion, humility, honesty, honor, kindness, mercy, peacefulness, etc) requires conscious effort and dedication. And such effort must be maintained even when being awful is easier and more effective.

    And you will stumble. You will hurt someone you didn't mean to hurt or you will give into that dark voice once too often. And that is OK. You will pick yourself back up, makes amends for what you have done wrong and endeavor to do better.



    Last edited by Reighnhell; 12-29-2019, 12:48 PM.

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  • reseru
    replied
    I'm not sure how much of a "personal horror" game you'll get if all your players are wantonly murdering people. The struggle of retaining humanity is a key theme of the game.

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