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  • #16
    It sounds like at some tables, the unaligned are more like Invictus peasants or Carthian citizens, than vampire truely outside the covenants.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Spencer from The Hills View Post
      It sounds like at some tables, the unaligned are more like Invictus peasants or Carthian citizens, than vampire truely outside the covenants.

      Yeah, it's mostly a change from 1ed to 2e I'd say. In 1ed, it was easier to say that most Vampires were Unaligned at least in a non-militant way. But in second edition I feel it was made clear that the reach of the Covenants was extended and it today I feel like there is clearly a two-tier level of Covenant members : the ones with at least a dot of status who are committed members, and those who don't and want only to be able to say "don't mess with me, I'm with Covenant X" mostly but don't want to pull the work necessary to be truly a part of it. So, a difference between citizenry and party members.

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      • #18
        I feel as though Requiem, especially in Second Edition, presents a setting where the vampires are often inclined to keep one another at arm's reach, between the Predatory Auras, psychic powers, and what socializing too much with other vampires can do to your Humanity. That's part of what the Cacophony is for.

        With those principles in mind, I feel as though pushing excessively to recruit, or even persecute, vampires who don't feel a very strong affinity for the style of your Covenant is typically more trouble than it's worth. That you're not getting as much out of the successful end result than you're risking with all the tension underlying vampire drama. It might be an awkward explanation for the primogen that the reason you went on a Frenzy was because you repeatedly exposed yourself to this person who just did not want to be around you.


        I have approximate knowledge of many things.
        Write up as I play Xenoblade Chronicles.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
          I feel as though Requiem, especially in Second Edition, presents a setting where the vampires are often inclined to keep one another at arm's reach, between the Predatory Auras, psychic powers, and what socializing too much with other vampires can do to your Humanity. That's part of what the Cacophony is for.

          With those principles in mind, I feel as though pushing excessively to recruit, or even persecute, vampires who don't feel a very strong affinity for the style of your Covenant is typically more trouble than it's worth. That you're not getting as much out of the successful end result than you're risking with all the tension underlying vampire drama. It might be an awkward explanation for the primogen that the reason you went on a Frenzy was because you repeatedly exposed yourself to this person who just did not want to be around you.

          Those are also very valid points. I think it's more that in 2ed even despite the dangers of Predatory Auras, Vampires seems to need social connection even more, no matter how much they may deny it. And it means forming cliques and Covenants, and I really feel as if the social reach of the Covenants has been extended, mostly by downplaying the Unaligned. I mean, in the main book they aren't even proposed as a special group. Sure, your Vampire can be out of a Covenant, but the Unaligned as a train of thought definitively seems to be a lot less prevalent now. Baiscally, I feel as if they were more incorporated in the common masses of nominally affiliated Vampires, especially in cities where one covenant is particularly strong.

          Like, if you have one dominant Covenant, all vampires are basically considered to be its citizens, and being Unaligned is thus making a stand to say you're not, with all the problems it entails.

          In cities with more Covenants, there is probably a lot more leeway however.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Ur-Than View Post
            I mean, in the main book they aren't even proposed as a special group. Sure, your Vampire can be out of a Covenant, but the Unaligned as a train of thought definitively seems to be a lot less prevalent now.
            I think that has less to do with downplaying their significance and more to do with the fact that with all of the additional stuff the Second Edition core has over the first (not just things like the Merits, the Strix and the sample settings, but the fact that it includes the core rules again), when something needs to cut to fit within page count a dedicated write-up for vampires with no Covenant is a high choice.


            I have approximate knowledge of many things.
            Write up as I play Xenoblade Chronicles.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

              I think that has less to do with downplaying their significance and more to do with the fact that with all of the additional stuff the Second Edition core has over the first (not just things like the Merits, the Strix and the sample settings, but the fact that it includes the core rules again), when something needs to cut to fit within page count a dedicated write-up for vampires with no Covenant is a high choice.
              You're probably right. Sadly

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Spencer from The Hills View Post
                It sounds like at some tables, the unaligned are more like Invictus peasants or Carthian citizens, than vampire truely outside the covenants.
                It isn't just that, but that even without the Status merit there must be a difference between someone that declares their participation and someone that just goes to the events.

                Take the church, for example. Not the Lancea, but IRL Christian churches. On some places the congregation may be really against the idea of "unbelievers" in their midst. If you're going to the church, people expect you to not only be there, but be an active member of the congregation to some extent. You must be a true believer and/or you must dedicate some personal time and resources to church activities.

                But in some congregations there is more of a spirit of "everyone is welcome" as long as they're not disruptive, and the priest won't bother you if you don't want. You may practice other religions, or just not be that firm a believer, and still go to church.

                On the other side, depending on several factors, those other people may be more or less prone to go to church in their community. It isn't such a pressing thing now because internet, but sometimes the local church is the main social gathering and promotes the big events. The more the local church is central to local social life, the more people without personal dedication to it as either faith or institution will attend anyway.

                With political parties the same phenomena persists, only changing the places where it happens. At least where I live it is more common on universities and on some workplaces, but the trend remains that if the main social events are organized by political entities, then they tend to receive a lot of people that are there more out of habit, social contacts, etc.

                So, what is a Status 0 member of the Lancea et Sanctum? If it is anyone who attends mass, then in some places there will be people that are members of every single Covenant, and being a member means absolutely nothing. I don't think that considering attendance or token participation should be considered membership, even if not every member is a full member.

                My take is that Unaligned means first and foremost people who won't be counted in by the Covenant to help it, and that is a thing that varies from place to place. Some cities will have Covenants disputing every Kindred. The Lancea and Circle may consider anyone attending their respective events as a member in their dispute for the hearts of the undead, no matter how much trust they really can place into those "members". Or the local Carthians may declare that everyone is a member by default unless they're a traitorous rebel. But on most places the Lancea may have in high regard some parishioners that offer a haven for church events every second week or otherwise are always present and active in the mass, but won't really give that much for someone who just shows up once a month to talk to their buddies.

                Looking at the second edition book, it seems less that this isn't the intended take on the Unaligned and more that being Unaligned as a stressed position is something they didn't covered as much as they should. Probably due page count.


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                • #23
                  I think idea of Covenant status and membership should proceed from assumptions that the vampire feels an actual affinity for the Covenant's goals and philosophies rather than being attached out of a sense of obligation to the point of coercion. The description of the Invictus in the Second Edition core conveys a sense that there was a time in the past where they all but monopolized vampire participation (if not for themselves, at least obligating participation in the Lancea or one of the defunct Covenants), but with the rise of the Circle and Carthians such a power base has been broken. That the reduction of their own power and greater diversity of options has increased the viability of none being an option. Conversely, this increases the value of enthusiastic membership, from both ends; when your replenishment rate of vampires is lower, it's maybe a better idea to ensure that the people in the bottom ranks have a desire to raise their profile, because if they don't they won't step into your shoes when you need to go torpid. You need somebody with investment and the cultivated skills to advance aims and maintain infrastructure when you need to sleep off your hunger for Kindred blood.

                  So, proceeding from that assumption, there's a stronger sense of why somebody would elect to be Unaligned (all the options seem crazy or repellent; you're not super concerned with being the primal monster or transcendent god or even the conspiracy of silence, you just wanted to live forever so you could see future cars), and what a Status 0 member is distinct from them (somebody who finds the Covenant offers something resonant to their Requiem, who has not yet paid their dues and developed some of the basic skills to be given real responsibilities and insight into their particular forms of power).

                  Even a character with 0 Status in every Covenant ends up different from the Unaligned, with the added sense that dividing their attention between all of those Covenants while trying to figure them out is limiting prospects to advance in any given one of them. Meanwhile you've got an Unaligned off to the side trying to set up an underground rock career.

                  The Elizabethan Dark Era made a point of how vampires were transitioning away from personalised blood cults into participation in urban nightlife, another thing that I think constituted a trend to weaken the prestige of the Invictus while also letting them be more casual with a loosened grip; populations were developing in a way that made it easier for vampires to be discrete without the feudal hierarchy breathing down their necks. The Unaligned can exist by the basic rules without full participation in the system, so they can be tolerated more.

                  As far as the Lance goes, my impression from the core is that there's a distinction drawn between congregation members and true members of the Covenant. That you'll typically get vampires not part of the Covenant in the least who attend the services, maybe even consider the message (although there's a degree to which playing along with them is more about building up good will to be able to call upon their unique assistance), while the members are the ones actually running the service and promoting the message. Status 0 in the Lancea et Sanctum isn't being a barely interested parishioner, it's being somebody who sets up the ritual space and restocks on the candles before standing at the back of the attendees of the preacher, until you've shown the level of commitment to be taught some sorcery and given responsibility for some project of holy terror.


                  I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                  Write up as I play Xenoblade Chronicles.

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                  • #24
                    I don't own any Dark Eras, they weren't translated yet in French sadly... Is there anything about the Covenants and the Unaligned in them, changing over the centuries ?

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Ur-Than View Post
                      Is there anything about the Covenants and the Unaligned in them, changing over the centuries ?
                      Yeah, pretty much.

                      The one I referred to, Requiem for Regina, is the only Vampire one in the first book, but it includes descriptions of how things built towards getting as they are in the focused on period and how they'll evolve in the future; for instance, how the coming revolution in English science will lead many vampires towards the future Ordo Dracul.

                      Of the setting's four Covenants, two do not exist in modern nights, and the Invictus and Lancea are visibly not the groups they'll become in the 21st century, with differing priorities and sects (and resources).

                      My cursory glance suggests unaligned aren't mentioned much there, which may lend credence to my idea of more insistent Covenants. It might help that it's an era where part of the point is that mortal society is becoming more intrusive (this is the height of suspicion and spying on Catholics), making it harder for a vampire to make it on their own.


                      I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                      Write up as I play Xenoblade Chronicles.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

                        Yeah, pretty much.

                        The one I referred to, Requiem for Regina, is the only Vampire one in the first book, but it includes descriptions of how things built towards getting as they are in the focused on period and how they'll evolve in the future; for instance, how the coming revolution in English science will lead many vampires towards the future Ordo Dracul.

                        Of the setting's four Covenants, two do not exist in modern nights, and the Invictus and Lancea are visibly not the groups they'll become in the 21st century, with differing priorities and sects (and resources).

                        My cursory glance suggests unaligned aren't mentioned much there, which may lend credence to my idea of more insistent Covenants. It might help that it's an era where part of the point is that mortal society is becoming more intrusive (this is the height of suspicion and spying on Catholics), making it harder for a vampire to make it on their own.

                        Whoa, it's sure sounds super interesting ! Hopefully, now that more CoD are being translated in French, Dark Eras will be too !

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                        • #27
                          I always assumed the reason the "Unaligned" aren't made much mention of is because there isn't much to say. They aren't people rebelling against some oppressive system like Anarchs in cWoD. They're like people who don't join an after-school club in highschool. It's really no big deal, but they might join one later if it ends up appealing to them or after they find their niche. Or they might not join any. Covenants are, at their root, coping mechanisms. Not everyone needs or wants it.

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                          • #28
                            I think that a page or two about them would go a long way to help new players entirely to see that Covenants aren't the be all in Kindred society.

                            As it is, even Inwho owned the 1ed main book felt that Unaligned had almost entirely be discarded from the setting. Which is a shame, they should be treated like Ghost Wolves in Forsaken !

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                            • #29
                              I think Ghost Wolves get more attention because an unaffiliated werewolf is a much stronger contrast and has a more stark reason to be.

                              When we get a lot of description of vampires, one living in solitude feels like a pretty organic choice to me. At the same time, awareness of vampire society to make that a choice is the norm, because they almost always need to be made by other vampires (even in the cases where it isn't deliberate).

                              Ghost Wolves are being contrasted against the strong impulse to form into packs, and arising in large part from the fact that the First Change happens of its own accord, and easily when no other Uratha are around.

                              Heck, the Clan descriptions alone can give a fairly good idea of the solitary vampire, but the Auspices are built on the assumption of being parts of a whole.


                              I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                              Write up as I play Xenoblade Chronicles.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                                I think Ghost Wolves get more attention because an unaffiliated werewolf is a much stronger contrast and has a more stark reason to be.

                                When we get a lot of description of vampires, one living in solitude feels like a pretty organic choice to me. At the same time, awareness of vampire society to make that a choice is the norm, because they almost always need to be made by other vampires (even in the cases where it isn't deliberate).

                                Ghost Wolves are being contrasted against the strong impulse to form into packs, and arising in large part from the fact that the First Change happens of its own accord, and easily when no other Uratha are around.

                                Heck, the Clan descriptions alone can give a fairly good idea of the solitary vampire, but the Auspices are built on the assumption of being parts of a whole.

                                While it's true that Vampires are solitary predators in nature compared to Werewolves who need packs to function properly, Requiem is also a very social game, and it's hinted at that reclsuive Vampires, who don't engage with the rest of their kin may degenerate faster because they lack the coping mechanism and outside helpt to resist the lure of the Beast. In that regarde Unaligned/Unbound could present an interesting take on the Vampires I think.

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