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About the Invictus and their Oaths

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  • About the Invictus and their Oaths

    I want to start by apologizing. I searched through the forums and didn't manage to find information about this basic topic. However, I really want to read what you guys have to say, so I think it is worth creating a discussion for this.

    So, after reading the second edition I've learned about Invictus and their Oaths, which is a new thing for me. And while the book brings all the mechanics to use the Oaths, it fails to inform me on the basics about how someone feels while under the effect of an Oath. To be more specific, what I'm searching for is:

    When Vitae and Disciplines are transfered through Oaths, how does it feel? It hurts? How does one pay to own territory? Vitae simply vanishes from the body, or is it a willing act? Are there procedures?

    If possible, can you guys give me examples of how did you describe Oaths in your games?

    I will start with something I devised for my chronicle:

    Catarina, the Princess, gives a pendant with an old picture of her to every Kindred that owns territory on her city. The pendant has hooks and spikes all around it, and must be kept near the heart of the owner for him to receive the benefits of the Oath of Serfdom. By the aggrement accepted when the oath is made, whenever there is a fullmoon in the sky the kindred must hold the pendant tight on their hands, piercing their own skin with its metal. They feel a sting of pain and a faint feeling of hollowness as their life is taken by the pendant and given to Catarina.

  • #2
    Your description sounds like blood sorcery and not an oath to me.

    Oath is much more akin to Carthian Law, than to sorcery, imo. If the Oath transfers vitae, you just feel more hungry, while your benefactor is less hungry. No fancy rituals or anything. The ritual already happened when you swore the oath in front of a Notary.


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    • #3
      I rule that it just kind of.... happens. I liken Invictus Oaths to changeling pledges and wish magic, as well as a liberal dosage of blood sympathy connections forged by the Oath.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by MCN View Post
        I rule that it just kind of.... happens. I liken Invictus Oaths to changeling pledges and wish magic, as well as a liberal dosage of blood sympathy connections forged by the Oath.
        That's more or less how I run it.


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        • #5
          Seems I've gotten the wrong idea, then. I'm not familiar with Changelling pledges, but from what you guys posted, it seems to be intuitive and instinctual. But then, if for example, a Vampire has no blood inside him to pay for the Serfdom when the time to do arrives, what happens? The landlord feels it somehow? It would seem to me that the Invictus would craft Oaths that allow them to control their lessers, and to have at least a rough idea if the Oath is being fullfilled or not. Some Oaths are easy, its all or nothing, but the example of the Oath of Serfdom bothers me a little. How is the Prince supposed to keep tabs on everyone that owns him Vitae? The Oath breaks instantly, but the Liege knows who still has active Oaths?

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          • #6
            I'd just rule that you can drain vitae in the form of lethal damage, then. 1 lethal for 1 vitae. He goes into torpor, well, you master is gone.

            This is why most Oaths tend to be to NPCs, and they take the form of a staggard pyramid - you're not all directly sworn to The Elder, you're sworn to the grandchilder of The Elder, who in turn is sworn to his sire, who in turn is sworn to The Elder. That way, there's a limited amount of drain on each person, and entirely manageable. This chain also help that, if one guy is low on vitae, he can tap into his superior's supply of blood to support the others.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by MCN View Post
              I'd just rule that you can drain vitae in the form of lethal damage, then. 1 lethal for 1 vitae. He goes into torpor, well, you master is gone.

              This is why most Oaths tend to be to NPCs, and they take the form of a staggard pyramid - you're not all directly sworn to The Elder, you're sworn to the grandchilder of The Elder, who in turn is sworn to his sire, who in turn is sworn to The Elder. That way, there's a limited amount of drain on each person, and entirely manageable. This chain also help that, if one guy is low on vitae, he can tap into his superior's supply of blood to support the others.

              I disagree to the Oaths tend to be to NPCs part. In my opinion, whole pyramid scheme does not depend on the particular location of PCs in it. They can be the Elders, the middlemen, or the bottom of the chain. It still works


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              • #8
                Originally posted by MCN View Post
                I'd just rule that you can drain vitae in the form of lethal damage, then. 1 lethal for 1 vitae. He goes into torpor, well, you master is gone.

                This is why most Oaths tend to be to NPCs, and they take the form of a staggard pyramid - you're not all directly sworn to The Elder, you're sworn to the grandchilder of The Elder, who in turn is sworn to his sire, who in turn is sworn to The Elder. That way, there's a limited amount of drain on each person, and entirely manageable. This chain also help that, if one guy is low on vitae, he can tap into his superior's supply of blood to support the others.

                Originally posted by pg 116, Vampire: the Requiem Second Edition
                Unless otherwise noted, the vassal does not have to be Invictus; in fact, most are not. In rare cases, ghouls or other mortals enter Oaths.
                Given that "most" vassals are not Invictus, would it not follow that there is generally not a pyramid of vassals? I suppose this is slightly off-topic, but it does relate to "how Oaths work."

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                • #9
                  Given that "most" vassals are not Invictus, would it not follow that there is generally not a pyramid of vassals? I suppose this is slightly off-topic, but it does relate to "how Oaths work."
                  I suppose that the base of the pyramids are composed of those non-Invictus. It makes sense that the First State would prefer to collect resources from the other convenants, increasing their own power.

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                  • #10
                    I would like that specific "most vassals" not Invictus part elaborated on. What oaths are their swearing? Oath of Serfdom? How do you get other covenants to swear fealty to you, is something I wonder on a lot.


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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Griautis View Post
                      I would like that specific "most vassals" not Invictus part elaborated on. What oaths are their swearing? Oath of Serfdom? How do you get other covenants to swear fealty to you, is something I wonder on a lot.
                      You are the landlord. They want a domain in your domain. They gotta swear.

                      Also, most Oaths have beneficial effects for the vassal as well and so can be attractive to swear. Many of them also have an element of security for both sides. Invictus are the safest partners in the All Night Society. If they turn on you, their Oaths often turn on them or they lose a crucial benefit.


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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Griautis View Post
                        I would like that specific "most vassals" not Invictus part elaborated on. What oaths are their swearing? Oath of Serfdom? How do you get other covenants to swear fealty to you, is something I wonder on a lot.
                        If I remember right, Fealty may be sworn to only a single Vampire. However, Serfdom doesn't, and the book specifies that it usually includes a bloody payment. I believe most Invictus Princes have every kindred in the city under Serfdom. About Serfdom, the payment transfers magically or the vassal needs to go meet the Prince and give him blood physically?

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                        • #13
                          Personally, the only thing that Oaths gives is immunity to vincullum. so I don't really see it as a wide net (like a prince forcing all the kindred under serfdom, besides that's largely imposible, one point of the oath is to grant the vampire territory. A rare prince is going to be micromanaging his city to such a degree as to give out all the land himself.


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