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Advise on gifts

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  • #16
    Are you looking at incorporating it as a story for the PCs to act out, a sort of cautionary tale to take place in the background with NPCs or as setting history?


    • #17
      Being mentioned a cautionary, or inspirational tale, but on the other issues, if you see use for the story I'll hear it

      as I always found it a inspiring tale of Hope and Redemption.

      Oh on the main topic on gifts, how do you think gift cards would be seen, would they be seen as an overly pedestrian gift?

      Although I could see an elder giving them to neonates their impressed with.

      Especialy one who seems promising but is struggling financialy

      any ideas what such a gift could mean beyond "He likes you"


      • #18
        Gift cards, to me, would fall under context and intent. The fact that said elder took the time to personally handwrite a note, using expensive ink, on engraved stationary, imported from an exotic location and scented with an expensive perfume or cologne that is no longer produced by any company in the world, could actually be more monetarily valuable than a piece of jewelry with expertly cut gems. And that's just before you consider the fact that of sympathetic links that could be established with such a personalized item. Or the handwriting sample provided for potential future forgeries. (Like one of my characters has.)

        As a cautionary tale, I might incorporate as a background history for a current regent in the domain. I'll use the generic stereotypes but you can mix and match covenants to match your domains make up.
        Said regent was comparatively young (possibly a favored childe of the prince or primogen) but talented Invictus kindred who was granted regency based on that relationship. He ignored the warnings of a Sanctified ally about granting too many concessions to the Carthians, or indulging Masquerade violations by Acolytes and Dragons in the interest of promoting religious tolerance or thinking outside the box. He becomes popular with those groups (and alienates others) when he calls for the execution of a harpy on charges of sedition for blaming him and the prince for allowing them to get away with Masquerade violations and predicting that humans would be killing them in their sleep at this rate.
        Unsurprisingly, his 'tolerance' leads to a spike in attacks by hunters and a portion of his regency is usurped by his former Carthian supporters (their agenda all along). He re-dedicates himself to Sanctified teachings and Invictus policy, and reclaims his regency. He manages to nullify the hunter threat by turning them against the most egrarious Masquerade violators from the Circle and Ordo and uses that as leverage to reclaim his regency and re establish some alliances he would have alienated with his initial indiscretions. (This would likely have been some 20 odd years ago. Most of the hunters would be dead or retired/moved on to a real life by now.)

        If you want to up the ante and/or involve the players you could change things up slightly and say the Circle or Ordo conjured a nest of strix. (Two parents and a clutch of eggs that can't be destroyed by conventional methods.) The Circle or Ordo defends/conceals them. Eventually the story plays out with the strix parents being the ones stirring up hunter activity and getting killed. Your prototype Manassah and his Sanctified allies get a vision on the existence of the eggs and how to destroy them (submerge them in holy water prepared via an obscure ritual in Theban archives). Technically you could insert the PCs as any individual or faction but you run the risk of railroading them if they adopt adversarial roles to your Manassah although nothing says they can't switch sides in spite of covenant formal policies.
        Last edited by tsusasi; 06-08-2016, 12:54 PM.


        • #19
          Hmmmn that sounds cool

          Hmmmn on Subtle insinuation in how you dress aany ideas how men can do so? I must be lacking an imagination because most of the examples I've seen on the issue have involved female kindred, wearing Dresses., like that one from the Invictus book

          Oh a scenariao that sprang into my head, well two scenariaos

          In both Someone commits dialbriee

          In one The prince is disgusted by the act but finds the perpeturrator absolutely indispensible, or feels that he , or the domain do owe him for past loyalty.

          In the other, he feels the act is quite justified, but feels he must give them some kind of minimalistic punishment to maintain appearances.

          Is their a way to communicate such feelings via innuendo anyone sees?


          • #20
            Color codes are popular. The Invictus and Ordo Dracul covenant books mention employing them, with certain colors being preferred by certain clan members or being off limits if you aren't a member of their respective sub groups. Certain colors have semi-universal meanings. (Blue signifies calm or peace, orange means superficial, etc.) Men could be somewhat unsubtle by having their suit be that color, or just restrict it to a handkerchief tucked into the breast pocket of their suit. Many different types of flowers also have certain connotations. (Something that could be pinned on a lapel or sent as a bouquet.) You could attach a form of locally understood phrases or statements to a particular brand of clothes or accessories (hats, cufflinks, shoes) or have them worn in combination with each other. Or something like wearing your clothes backwards or inside out. (Some cultures consider that a sign of impending bad or good luck.)

            Incidentally. the amaranth is not just a reference to soul eating, it's a flower. You could incorporate that into some sort of statement about diablerie.


            • #21
              Mortal uniforms can be a statement to wear to Elysium, especially if it's something from your breathing days, personally, .

              All the jewelry, token, favor, and badge stuff is just as applicable to men as women. It also applies to symbols of faith, medals, rank identification, and ornamental weapons. A Cross of Confusion and a naked blade send a very different message than a crucifix and a peace knot, especially when the LeS is hosting. Politically minded Dragons may frown when one of their neonates arrives wearing a mortal keepsake.

              Cost is so obvious as to be forgotten, but that can be a big deal too. Unless you carry yourself particularly well, if you show up in a carefully pressed Goodwill suit people are probably going to assume you're either incompetent ("I mean, good Lord, you can afford a tailored thousand-dollar suit over the normal course of mugging your dinner for a few nights, with care."), or you don't have the social experience to know you look incompetent, or you have no investment in the game.

              I'm gonna use an Estate hazing myself soon, where guests at events held by/for the most slovenly, unsuccessful, or unworthy junior Invictus surreptitiously mock them by wearing progressively cheaper and cheaper suits. The object of the game is to be the one with the cheapest suit when the host finally cottens on- if the cheapest suit is the one that made realization dawn, the second cheapest wins instead. Guests can stylishly opt themselves out of long-term games by showing up in outlandishly tattered or horrible suit as long as they have a believable reason for it, and it doesn't immediately alert the host. If the host NEVER catches on, the final event sees all the participating guests dressed like the host, as clumsily and unflatteringly as possible.
              Last edited by Hastur00; 06-18-2016, 01:48 PM.


              • #22

                sorry to bump this thread after so long but something I'm thinking on.

                is a Gift card a good gift to a ghoul to make them feel appreciated?


                • #23
                  It might, depending on the amount, location, financial situation of the ghoul and context. A Visa gift card for $200 may be considered a boon to a recently created ghoul who's a college student. Less so to a ghoul who's been around for ten years and already has access to their regnant's cars and bank accounts. Season tickets to a hockey team's home games may also be appreciated. Unless they vastly prefer another sport entirely or going out to the movies.


                  • #24
                    a $100 gift card to a fast food joint? to a ghoul thats overworked, and that you feel some small amount of empathy for?

                    or is cash possibly better?

                    oh? a Amaranth flower were giving to inform someone they'll be hunted for dialbriee soon?

                    does giving it anonymously or personally sound better?

                    problem with giving it personally, is they could report you to the Prince.
                    Last edited by Prince of the Night; 04-15-2018, 10:33 AM.


                    • #25
                      The gift card would be appropriate in that circumstance. Cash may be appreciated more because that's food of their choice or gas, a utility bill, etc.

                      The amaranth flower would probably be construed as a warning more than a gift. Giving that anonymously may be safest politically for all involved parties.


                      • #26
                        ideas how say, giving a revolver could have different significane then a dagger?

                        or a ornamental weapon different from a functional one?

                        Many gifts are meantt as iknnuendo

                        like in one game I: ran on Rpol of Princess the hopeful, a rather vaingglorious troubadour of spades was trying to reform a Acolyte

                        She tried to get him off her track by siccing him on a group of child porn distributors she also wanted taken down.

                        but after managing to perform Cheval on him, she was able to find his real identity.

                        and gave him a Sanxian, of expensive make at his home address to let him know she knew his real identity now.

                        sadly the guy left before she could try aiming him at the chapel and the spear too.


                        • #27
                          I personally don’t have characters give ornamental weapons as gifts except as an insult or threat. It’s construed as an insult in that you think their martial skill is so poor that they won’t notice the difference or their background knowledge in weapons collecting is shabby. That’s just my interpretation though. Other possible symbolic meanings

                          Dagger or a bottle of poison - an accusation of treachery
                          Sword - a formal declaration of war
                          Pistol(s) - formal challenge to duel

                          Sometimes the symbolism could be a personal exchange of insults. One of my characters was sent a pure silver gun from a rival. It was a replica of the one she kept well hidden in an ankle holster. (How he knew about it drives straight into the realm of his sexual predatory behavior) Shortly afterwards, she was reprimanded over unnecessarily risking an Invictus financial portfolio in retaliation for a public insult his childe had levied at her during kindred court. This rival pulled strings to ensure she was publicly censured as well. After orchestrating her retaliation for that, said rival was sent a silver bullet .38 caliber made from the same silver as my character’s replicated gun (melted down) with his name engraved on it. The next day one of his more influential organized crime boss retainers was arrested for racketeering. (And later shot before he could testify.)
                          But later on, occasionally she would be gifted with a revolver and star badge in acknowledgement of her role as sheriff.(Or as a way of saying “thank you for NOT killing someone” even when she had legal cause) This same character was also sent a black rose once. At the time in the game there was a serial killer who’s calling card was that he sent his victims a black rose three nights before he killed them. (Yes, vampires can be killed or torpored by solo serial killers in our setting.) A Carthian with pretensions of being a harpy tried to stir up drama and thought it would be funny to anonymously send them out as an empty threat to the female members of Invictus and was encouraged by an older Acolyte (who was actually trying to terrorize a Daeva neonate who had been kidnapped by hunters once) to send them. (The serial killer didn’t consider imitation to be the sincerest form of flattery and eliminated their competition.)

                          I had another character who gifted a real Cossack sword to a fellow House member after she had broken his ceremonial sword on his face a few hours before her inevitable embrace. There’s a side story about him getting punished for years for being stupid enough to offer it to her in the first place but my character knows nothing about it. Their hostilities cooled eventually and my character, not knowing the one she broke was ceremonial, she thought she had broken a real one and eventually went through the trouble of replacing it with a real functional but antique one.
                          Fast forward several years later, he becomes the prince and almost always wears the sword to public kindred functions and has performed a few executions with it.
                          Anyone who asks about his sword will get regaled with the story of how his previous ceremonial sword was shattered trying to kill him by an insolent mortal. And he eventually got it replaced ten years later with a better sword. He then ends the story by introducing my character to the person as the Sword-breaker of his tale and as the one who gave him his vorpal sword. (That’s what he calls it.) It has a twisted effect of either amusing kindred over my character being so naive to mistake a ceremonial sword for a real one, or horrifying them that she gave him an effective decapitation tool. (For some reason it’s more believable to them that my character gave him a magical sword than the fact the he’s obscenely strong and skilled in cutting off extremities.)


                          • #28
                            Thing about gifts that makes the calculus hard is, they're about:

                            1. The recipient's present state, and background.
                            2. The giver's present state, and background.
                            3. Customs of the domain, and it's present state.
                            4. Any specifically intended message.

                            Puzzling these out could be the work of several sessions of noodling for PCs, or a few die rolls for experienced characters.

                            Case in point: a sword could just as easily represent an indication that the giver accepts the fealty of and responsibility for the recipient, for those with a more traditional, medievalist bent. It's a great present for an Invictus overlord to an actual underling. It's a provocation from an Invictus to anyone else--and if they don't see it that way, then those who do will wonder if the recipient has turned allegiances!

                            Any other present can be equally complicated, especially if not explicitly explained. And what is the fun of that?



                            • #29
                              oh ideas What a slave could represent?

                              Say the Bull's mentioned in the invictus covenant book?


                              • #30
                                oh recently I bought a bright young woman on Facebook a hardcover of uncle tom's Cabin.

                                And thought of getting some people who I disagree with a copy of

                                Can anyone see the symbolism there?

                                a Hardcover makes it more meaningful, since you spent more money.