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  • The Beckoning does not make sense

    First of all let le state a few things: I do not dislike the metaplot changing and evolving, I think it's vital for a game line to have a moving metaplot, and I also believe one of VtM's strongest points has always been its metaplot. I also do not dislike V5 but I think a few things were done rashly and would have benefitted from a more nuanced approach. The Beckoning AS IT WAS IMPLEMENTED is one of those things, imo. I understand the in-game reason, for this change. I believe it was too much but I understand, yet done as it was the beckoning stressess my suspension of disbelief and forces me to consider ignoring the whole development, which is something I don't usually like to do, as I prefer to work metaplot changes into my chronicles.

    Why does the beckoning NOT make sense? Short answer. Because in V5 the Week of Nightmares happened and that means the Ravnos antediluvian awakened and was destroyed. And we know what it took to bring him down: 3 Bodhisattavas (basically powerful 4th gen vampires), their host of servants, 3 spirit nukes from the Technocracy and then an orbital solar blast from the Technocracy (which, I might add, is probably the most powerful supernatural faction in the OWoD). All of this to bring down Ravnos who had just awakened and was still weak and even so he managed to last fighting for a whole week. That's how powerful an antediluvian is supposed to be and thanks to the Week of Nightmares happening, it's canon in V5.

    If a single half starved antediluvian is THAT powerful how could a bunch of disorganized half crazed vampires hope to bring not one but several of them down? Why would the antediluvians NEED to call their childer back to them? With the Ghenna Crusade the Sabbat is basically committing mass suicide giving the Antediluvians the blood they need to fully awaken without effort. So why calling their childer to them? As officially mentioned in V5 this makes no sense imo.

    My question then is: have you got any ideas on how to make the Bekoning work in a rational way? I've got a couple (one being the Withering affecting the antediluvians after Ravnos' death, making them weaker and therefore in need of protection) but I'd like to hear everyone's thoughts on this as well.
    Last edited by Haquim; 02-11-2019, 07:53 AM.

  • #2
    Chicago by Night 5E makes it clear:

    1. The Sabbat are idiots
    2. The Antediluvians WANT the Sabbat to launch their Gehenna Crusade
    3. They're probably eating a not insignigant number of the Elders they Beckon.
    4. The Sabbat aren't killing Antes for the most part but 4th, 5th, and 6th generation Elders Beckoned to fight them.
    5. The bloodshed is feeding their power
    Last edited by CTPhipps; 02-10-2019, 06:50 PM.


    Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
      Chicago by Night 5E makes it clear:

      1. The Sabbat are idiots
      2. The Antediluvians WANT the Sabbat to launch their Gehenna Crusade
      3. They're probably eating a not insignigant number of the Elders they Beckon.
      4. The Sabbat aren't killing Antes for the most part but 4th, 5th, and 6th generation Elders Beckoned to fight them.
      I don't have CbN V5 but as far as I'm concerned...

      1. A few Sabbat cainites are idiots. They usually don't last long. The sect did not become the only real "global competitor" for the Camarilla because it was composed by idiots. It has SEVERAL powerful elders, some of which are methuselahs themselves. For the Gehenna Crusade I think I liked the explanation given in BJD. Polonia knew he was done for after he lost New York so he deflected attention from his failure to something else. The Ghenna Crusade! Unfortunately for him it worked better than he expected...
      2. This I can see and agree with.
      3. Aside from the fact not all of the Antediluvians were located in the Middle East (we suppose Set is, Malkav once upon a time entered Arcadia from a portal located in Jerusalem, Haqim is supposed to be stirring but in the Ghenna novel he went around the world killing those childer of his that disappointed him, the rest isn't supposed to be there).
      4. That's the point I'm trying to make. The Beckoning does not make sense because the Antediluvians don't need their childer to defend them of to feed them. The Gehenna Crusade is unwittingly providing them with suicidal cainites because none of them, even with several packs taking action together, have the power to fight a single antediluvian. Calling their childer to them on the other hand risks strengthening the Sabbat cainites (not that it would matter but still...) and losing valuable assets when they face each other directly (4th and 5th generation vampires of adequate age are capable, if not to stop at least of not immediately dying when facing an antediluvian, as the 3 bodhisattavas mentioned above prove).

      On another note: Izhim ur-Baal is a 6.800+ years old 5th generation Assamite who's True Black Hand and might very well have had an hand in the development of the Gehenna Crusade...

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      • #4
        Well, that's actually a tie in that the book made.

        In THE TIME OF THIN BLOOD, it mentioned that the reason the Ravnos Antediluvian awakened was because the Ravnos had done mass-embraces by the thousands to kill the Kuei-Jin and that the Antediluvian was awoken by so many of his descendants dying.

        I.e. the Sabbat are waking the Antes up far more than the Cammies.

        The Antes have invited the Sabbat to the Gehenna Crusade so they can kill 19 out of 20 in a war against their descendants. They're not awake....yet.

        But they're awakening slowly.

        It's detailed here.

        Tell me what you think: http://theonyxpath.com/lasombra-chicago-by-night/


        Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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        • #5
          1. Most shovelheads are violent fools, the disposable foot soldiers and cannon fodder of a war directly planned by the elders of the Sabbat. and the Sabbat is as run by elders as is the Camarilla. Most of the Sabbat hoi polloi are about as smart, and as good fighters, as the goons in an action flick or support monsters in a horror movie.

          2. I agree.

          3. Even if all the Ante's are not in the Middle East anymore, a great many elders are - and that includes the Meths. And sending flocks of vampires to the Middle East is just another part of the jyhad, not of the young against the old, but of Ante against Ante. Also, this is where vampire society began.

          4. The Ante's do want this, no one ever gets what they want in the WoD. The big schemers - Tzimisce, Soulot, Tremere, Cappadocious - all have their plans go sideways on them. Whatever plan is behind the Beckoning is probably going sideways as well. That doesn't change the fact the Ante's set it in motion.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post
            1. Most shovelheads are violent fools, the disposable foot soldiers and cannon fodder of a war directly planned by the elders of the Sabbat. and the Sabbat is as run by elders as is the Camarilla. Most of the Sabbat hoi polloi are about as smart, and as good fighters, as the goons in an action flick or support monsters in a horror movie.
            They become very very smart when they diablerize 7000 year old vampires.


            Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

              They become very very smart when they diablerize 7000 year old vampires.
              From a certain point of view...

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              • #8
                Haquim
                You assume that the motivations of the antedeluvians are straightforward and that they are completely awake and capable of acting unfettered. None of the three are necessarily the case.

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                • #9
                  CTPhipps: The link you provide seems to be about Lasombras defecting to the Camarilla. My opinion on that particular issue is I like it. In DA:V Lasombra were as humane as any other vampire clan. In many cases more so. They also had several likable elders. They were never shown to be similar to Tzimisce vamps and them suddenly becoming super inhuman monster never made a lot of sense to me. It was also mentioned they did not join the Camarilla as it was formed because the Camarilla was the creation of the Ventrue (Hardestadt in particular, and that name was opposed to the Lasombra of the Sea of Shadows) and refused to join out of spite towards their most ancient rivals.I also like how the text says SOME Camarilla domains MIGHT ask a Lasombra defector to give up an elder but some others may just ask something else (or nothing at all if in need of help I suppose).
                  This is all OT though.
                  As a note on another of your comments: not all diablerized vampires gain control of their diablerist. That's the exception, not the norm. It takes a singularly focused vampire with GREAT willpower to subsume their diablerist's soul. IIRC there were rules for this btw.

                  Grumpy RPG Reviews: I agree with most of your points. About 3 though I'd like to add the fertile crescent is where western human civilization originated. That's why vampires rose there as well. Vampires are leeches and parasites, and VtM presents them as such. I won't deny the Middle East to be extremely significant in any noddist's lore, but that doesn't change the fact most of the antediluvians aren't in the middle east anymore and those who who might be there have their most powerful servants there as well (Set has his 13 Hierophants, Haquim has the whole of the loyalists left in Alamut and Ur Shulgi...)

                  Cifer: You are right, but fettered or not an Antediluvian isn't going to be diablerized unless he wants to. Cappadocius allowed Augustus to diablerize him because he thought it was something he needed in order to diablerize God in turn (got turned into a spectre for the effort though). Lasombra mind wiped the lot of those who wanted to diablerize him. Tzimisce... we all know what Tzimisce did with Lugoji. Saulot and Tremere spent a millennium locked in mental combat... but in the end Saulot won. Hell, even the first diablerist, Troile didn't really diablerize her progenitor at all, at least according to one of the scenarios presented in Gehenna. Bottom line, Antediluvian plans might go awry, but the critters are extremely persistent anyway...

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Haquim View Post
                    Cifer: You are right, but fettered or not an Antediluvian isn't going to be diablerized unless he wants to. Cappadocius allowed Augustus to diablerize him because he thought it was something he needed in order to diablerize God in turn (got turned into a spectre for the effort though). Lasombra mind wiped the lot of those who wanted to diablerize him. Tzimisce... we all know what Tzimisce did with Lugoji. Saulot and Tremere spent a millennium locked in mental combat... but in the end Saulot won. Hell, even the first diablerist, Troile didn't really diablerize her progenitor at all, at least according to one of the scenarios presented in Gehenna. Bottom line, Antediluvian plans might go awry, but the critters are extremely persistent anyway...
                    And yet, it appears that several Antedeluvians are dead (Brujah, Ventrue, Ravnos) or were at least severely inconvenienced by attacks. Sure, most attacks on Antedeluvians end up being a quick midnight snack – but you don't reach several millenia of age by being content with surviving most attacks.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Cifer View Post
                      And yet, it appears that several Antedeluvians are dead (Brujah, Ventrue, Ravnos) or were at least severely inconvenienced by attacks. Sure, most attacks on Antedeluvians end up being a quick midnight snack – but you don't reach several millenia of age by being content with surviving most attacks.
                      The only Antediluvian confirmed dead and completely gone is Ravnos, and he wasn't killed by vampires but by the Technocracy.
                      Brujah might or may not have been diablerized, we have a Gehenna scenario where he's alive and well (and apparently he serves Lilith). Ventrue was said to have been killed by the Brujah antediluvian (or Set). If that were to be the case then he would have been killed by someone of comparable power and age. Justin Achilli said he planned to avoid Gehenna altogeteher and disappeared entirely from history in order to do so.
                      Last edited by Haquim; 02-11-2019, 09:38 AM.

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                      • #12
                        Another point to all this is that you're assuming it's *all* the antedeluvians doing the summoning - it could easily be one or two, but the effect covers all clans for some reason (perhaps over the years, vampires have shared enough blood that a fraction of the Ante's exist in everyone). It might not be the Ante's at all - perhaps it's Caine summoning all back to be judged? for creatures that are 10s of thousands of years old, having them mill around an area for a decade or 2 might be meaningless, especially if they're Torpid and perceiving time very differently.

                        The beckoning doesn't make sense in some perspectives, but i'm not sure it's supposed to - it's certainly not 'broken'. Just because i don't know why they're doing something, doesn't mean it's not a good reason.

                        Alternatively, Perhaps it's Malkav doing the summoning to flush everyone out and awaken them. The reason it seems crazy is because it is!

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                        • #13
                          Well... those Antediluvians may not actually be dead. Ventrue was a master of dominate and fortitude. An old WW employee said he was beyond the concept of death. Plus his skills with dominate could have him rewriting any memory he wants, including his own death.

                          Brush may still be alive. In a scenario in Gehenna, he threw himself forward in time with Temporis the moment Troile started the diablerie. Other stories say that they were the same vampire, as very little shows them existing at the same time.

                          Ravnos... well he has chimerstry maxed out.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Haquim View Post
                            The only Antediluvian confirmed dead and completely gone is Ravnos, and he wasn't killed by vampires but by the Technocracy.
                            Brujah might or may not have been diablerized, we have a Gehenna scenario where he's alive and well (and apparently he serves Lilith). Ventrue was said to have been killed by the Brujah antediluvian (or Set). If that were to be the case then he would have been killed by someone of comparable power and age. Justin Achilli said he planned to avoid Gehenna altogeteher and disappeared entirely from history in order to do so.
                            But now you're moving goal posts. The question should be "Is there among all teased canon a possibility that leaves enough room for the Antedeluvians to act as they do?", not "Can we find enough theories and unreliable narrators for it to not make sense?" Yes, Brujah is alive and well in a Gehenna scenario – but the Gehenna of VRev was not only a choose-your-own-end-of-the-world book whose scenarios contradicted each other (including establishing contradictory pasts), but it also plain did not happen in the V5 canon.

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                            • #15
                              A Doylist explanation would hold that V5 wanted to tell stories about gutter-level, low-powered vampires scraping by night-to-night. They weren't interested in telling stories about ambitious ancilla, smug elders, god-like ancients, exceptional fledglings, and the globe-spanning wars they fight.

                              Problem is, it's not easy to write a setting that make weak, wangsty vampires easy to create and interesting to play, while keeping the spotlight off the superhero level elders and ancients of the setting. If you heap on the suffering to fledgling characters, and allow elders to remain powerful it just makes the elders seem like they would be more fun to play.

                              So, they nerfed the elders by tying clan flaws to Blood Potency. They put mechanical teeth in the Humanity system, so that elders (who tend to hover at lower Humanity scores than fledglings) get actual penalties from low Humanity, without the option of Paths. They made it so Humanity only really works with Touchstones, which elders coming out of torpor or who are reclusive won't have. They capped attribute, skill and discipline scores at 5. They even changed how Dominate works on subjects of stronger blood.

                              None of this really managed to make elders seem less cool to play than fledglings, so they had to get heavy-handed.

                              They decided to get rid of elders altogether. So, they put them on a bus to a faraway land no one could ever possibly go to, kind of like a video game locking the boss fight behind layer after layer of unrelated quests. Problem, though, that "far-away land" is an actual place, where a half billion or so people live and work and, maybe, even play tabletop rpgs if the creators didn't keep Orientalizing their region.

                              So, it leaves us with fledglings who don't need blood nearly so much as they need a good social worker, elders who are so bound up by flaws related to their own powers they can barely act, and a setting whose "unplayable areas" include the majority of Earth's population.

                              It also leaves me hoping Onyx Path would consider a V6, overhauling V5, or a V30, when the time comes, sprucing up V20.

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