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  • #16
    Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
    I agree with others on this thread that the Vinculum should fade over time. It should also be subjected to the same degrading that can occur with the Blood Bond too because of ill treatment, or because of competing feelings generated by other things. If you love your sire because of the Blood Bond, and you love some other person for real, and the two go into opposition; then that may not change you feel towards each one, but it doesn't mean that a vampire can't choose to side with the other party. These kind of conflicts with the Blood Bond are best roleplayed out, not determined by dice rolls.

    If the Blood Bond creates an artificial "love" that can be degraded because of treatment, conflicts, time, and distance, than the artificial "solidarity" created by the Vinculum should do the same. Just use the guidelines for that happening in Blood Bonds as an approximation of how it can happen to the Vinculum.

    And don't forget that low levels of Vinculum ratings indicate very little ties to that specific vampire. Your first four or five levels can probably be ignored and move against that individual, although you might feel guilty about it afterwards.

    As mentioned, the Vinculum hasn't prevented three civil wars (or four depending on edition), monomacy, etc. Clearly Sabbat routinely kill other Sabbat with whom they have some measure of Vinculum.

    = = = =
    I will also state that in the original Players Guide to the Sabbat, it mentions "Some Sabbat believe it is possible to break the bonds of the Vinculum. Doing so removes all the bonds the vampire has
    to all other vampires, not just select ones. While it is unknown how the Vinculum is broken, supposedly it has been done by a number of Sabbat, particularly Tremere and Nosferatu antitribu.
    " This has never been explored in the setting, and I imagine this statement was included merely as a means to allow an ST to include such a thing in their own chronicle if they saw a use for it. I don't think I'd want an anti-Vaulderie in the setting that obliterates Vinculum outright, but some plot device or general mechanic that can sometimes work or is difficult to do could be something I'd be willing to allow. I'd just need to give a lot of thought as to how to handle it as an ST so it doesn't break the setting outright.

    In that same sourcebook there was a Flaw called Pack Enemy, where a character (presumably NPC) in your own pack wants you destroyed. In the description it states "The Vinculum scores between you and your enemy are automatically zero, and will never increase no matter how many times you partake of the Vaulderie together." So again, obviously the Vinculum is not meant to last forever or even to always work. There have always been exceptions to the normal rules.

    = = = =
    I think the bigger problem with a Sabbat defector is less that the Vinculum can be broken/eroded for an individual or even an isolated pack that grown disillusioned from the Sabbat (although I think the idea of mass defections like in V5 is ridiculous), it is how much can you actually trust a defector? How do you know he is not lying? Or that he isn't a deep cover agent because of some Discipline use that he may not even know about himself (like in the movie Total Recall)? What is their motivation for defecting? How sincere or believable is it? Why risk bringing in an enemy agent when you can just as easily destroy that enemy and create a brand new vampire whose loyalties you can control initially?

    These questions might already be answered in your chronicle, but I do think it is important to bring up as an obstacle as to why the opposing side will accept a defector.
    I remember a few things like this over the years. My guess is there's a rite or ritual that does it, if needed. It wouldn't surprise me if the Regent knows it, and probably the Sabbat Inquisition. Maybe the Lost Tribe can do it by drinking the tears of the Weeping Woman or something, so I can see the Black Hand maybe having a way out too.

    Also, vinculi can go down with the Vaulderie, so it makes sense they aren't unperishable. But I get the feeling that the intent is that the Vaulderie keeps you tied to the Sabbat, not individuals -- so individual vinculi may fall to one, but only if you keep practising the very same ritus that keeps you tied to the sect.

    I would probably allow someone to make a roll at certain milestones or triggers to see if a vinculum degrades. This would be the same mechanic as the roll used in the Vaulderie, with the exception that it can't increase this way -- it can only degrade or stay the same. It isn't actually conducting the ritus; it's just a way to measure loss of bonds over time.

    E.g., if someone abuses you, or harms someone you care about even more, then you can make a roll. If the severity of the threat to your bond is very strong (e.g., they killed your lover), you might automatically let it degrade by one of more -- no roll required. Truly offensive and evil acts against you might shatter it outright.


    Writer, publisher, performer
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    • #17
      Were it up to me, I'd take the concepts of the viniculum and water it down a bit for broader application. Like, if vampires mix their blood with others, anyone who drinks the mixture gets a sense of loyalty rather than love like the usual blood bond to everyone who's blood is in the mixture; with a similar three drinks rule as the regular blood bond: one drink is an inclination, two drinks is obligation, three drinks is an imperative (As only one full bond is allowed and yet multiple vampires can be simultanius donors, the vampire with the greatest imput of blood will be the third step, with lower gens having an advantage due to denser blood)

      Now this thing might seem very convenient and get in the way of politicking so we should throw some curveballs
      1:the ability to do this isn't widely known and most elders are happy to keep it that way: strongly loyal coteries benefit neonates at the expense of elders. Elders also don't want neonates arguing for a loyalty bond when it's more advantageous to put them in a love bond. For elders at least, Fewer. stronger punishments are better than many weaker ones.
      2: Many elders know how or are suspected of knowing how to cheat bonds and nobody wants to be caught out when the pact goes bad.
      3: Elders are also extremely against one elder gaining allies this way and will usually band together to stop such behaviour. Even the prince will find himself ousted if he tries something like this. The loyalty bond is as bad as the love bond. Arguably moreso, because it's so insidious and difficult to detect.



      I also really love the thing hinted at in LotC with the Ravnos: they can create oaths with one another, and should they break the oaths a red streak will appear across their aura. Again, I think there should be terms and conditions to stop this from being an auto-win-politics mechanic like making sure the oaths are given in good faith without duress and maybe such oaths will require convictions or certain paths and will put your path rating/humanity on the line if broken, and these oaths aren't mystically binding if the user intended to break them when the oath was made...


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      • #18
        I see the idea that the vinculum is some super-blood-bond as being Sabbat propaganda. The Sabbat have made a point of portraying the vinculum as some bond of unbreakable eternal loyalty that makes the Sabbat eternally unified and invincible beyond the comprehension of pathetic Cammies and Anarchs. Meanwhile the reality is that it is blood-bond-lite, with all the limitations of a regular blood bond, while also only creating a mild feeling of affection that smooths over minor conflicts, but is easily overwhelmed by severe conflicts.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by CajunKhan View Post
          I see the idea that the vinculum is some super-blood-bond as being Sabbat propaganda. The Sabbat have made a point of portraying the vinculum as some bond of unbreakable eternal loyalty that makes the Sabbat eternally unified and invincible beyond the comprehension of pathetic Cammies and Anarchs. Meanwhile the reality is that it is blood-bond-lite, with all the limitations of a regular blood bond, while also only creating a mild feeling of affection that smooths over minor conflicts, but is easily overwhelmed by severe conflicts.
          This sounds as a great interpretation

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          • #20
            waiting for the sun to rise up is a good to leave the sabbat.

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            • #21
              One of the easiest ways I can see with ex Sabbat is displacement supposing you're the last member still around in the area after a crushing defeat or tactical withdrawal.

              I also think certain clans would have an easier time of it over others. For example gangrel or ravnos probably find it easier simply because they're slightly disconnected with their respective sects a gangrel or ravnos could spend a couple of years in the countryside and just present himself to the prince as an independent.
              Last edited by Ragged Robin; 11-02-2022, 07:00 AM.

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              • #22
                Yeah, nomadic packs might also have it easier. Sure, they've sipped the blood of like 200 randos, but they haven't seen any of them more than once, so what does it matter?

                To them, it might be like that "love" someone feels when they're on ecstasy at a rave and make a load of new "best friends" they adore in the moment and forget about the next day.

                Also, a particularly independent nomadic pack, if decimated by lupines or stranger things, might occasionally leave behind one survivor whose isolation and trauma might allow them to break their ties to the sect and bond with any Camarilla or Anarch vampires who save them. For them, their pack was the Sabbat; when the pack died, so did the sect.


                Writer, publisher, performer
                Mostly he/his, sometimes she/her IRL https://adam-lowe.com

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Microcuchon View Post
                  How possible is to leave the Sabbat? According to V20 manual, Vinculi don't fade with time. But in canon we have a character (Giangaleazzo) who has not only done it, but killed all the Sabbat members in his city. Not to mention the whole V5 Lasombra mass defection.
                  Has any of you ST's allowed a PC or NPC to leave the Sabbat and under what circumstances?
                  It has to be noted that the Vinculi does not neccesirely has to overcome or dealt with before leaving the Sabbat and joining another faction or some other group. You could have a Sabbat defector who is on the way to being accepted among his new fellows / friends while still handling the issue of having emotional bonds or thoughts coming from personal attachment to Sabbat Vampires.

                  To deal with the emotions that might come from the Vinculi in such or similar circumstances, a Vampiress could try to establish some contact or outright cooperation with Vampires from her own Clan. If this could be said so simply in regard to Vampires who are Antitribu. It should be considered what are the criteria for a Sabbat Vampire to be considered an Antitribu of a particular Clan, whether Brujah Antitribu, Tremre Antitribu, or Toreador Antitribu.

                  She (or he) could also consider and work through her own personal issues, problems, and dillemas, possibly bringing them up and discussing them with other Vampires, or with Ghouls, or maybe with Revenants (if she or he knows any Revanants, that is).

                  Another possibility is acquiring additional special abilities or magical artifacts / magical items to help her deal with possibly problematic emotions and ruminations.

                  I would say that depending on other Vampires and asking them for help seems to be most reliable approach in this relatively straightforward example situation.
                  Last edited by Muad'Dib; 11-03-2022, 04:18 PM.

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                  • #24
                    I also seem to remember that when Monty Coven consumed Mithras that his Vinculim was shattered instantly. So it go to show that the Sabbat methods are not infallible and such bonds can be overcome.


                    What in the name of Set is going on here?

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Lysander View Post
                      So it go to show that the Sabbat methods are not infallible and such bonds can be overcome.
                      It also has to be noted that some Sabbat Vampires can end up with low Vinculi rating towards other Sabbat Vampires.This does not have to be immediately obvious, clear, or discerniable.

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                      • #26
                        I can bet that most of the Sabbat leadership knows this Muad"Dib and keep it quiet lest the younger members learn this and decide to rebel and choose there own path.


                        What in the name of Set is going on here?

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Lysander View Post
                          I can bet that most of the Sabbat leadership knows this Muad"Dib and keep it quiet lest the younger members learn this and decide to rebel and choose there own path.
                          There might be a few (or more than a few) Ritae - whether Auctoritas or Ignobilis - that could sort out such an issue (if it would be na issue at at, that is) directly or indirectly.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by adambeyoncelowe View Post
                            But I get the feeling that the intent is that the Vaulderie keeps you tied to the Sabbat, not individuals -- so individual vinculi may fall to one, but only if you keep practising the very same ritus that keeps you tied to the sect.
                            My reading is that it's the exact opposite. The Vinculum ties you to individuals, but does nothing to engender particular loyalties to the sect as a whole.

                            If it did, you wouldn't need to perform the Vaulderie with packs you meet or at gatherings. Nor would there be Sabbat Civil Wars or factional conflicts.

                            The idea of "Sect First" emotional ties is more a feature of the Tremere Pyramid and drinking from the cup. It creates loyalty to the Pyramid, or at least to its leadership and the ephemeral "idea" of Clan & House Tremere. Nonetheless, Tremere plot and scheme against one another all the time, despite the partial Blood Bond to the hierarchy. So long as a Tremere can rationalize it as being for the good of the Clan, they feel nothing at engineering the downfall of their superiors or rivals. All of this is by design.

                            The Sabbat, by contrast, is highly cellular and nodal. Vinculum ties are forged by the Vaulderie, to the Cainites one shares blood with. There's no supernaturally enforced loyalty to the Sabbat as a sect. It simply doesn't square with how the sect operates, or with how the Vinculum mechanic is presented to us.

                            What holds the Sabbat together as a big sect, if anything, is good old propaganda, ideology, and brainwashing. When you're ripped from your mortal life, have to dig yourself from the grave half-mad and starving, and then are told what you are and what the score is by religious extremists, you're going to have skewed ideas about vampiric existence. When you, under no uncertain terms, are disallowed to return to that mortal life or hear alternative ideas from a different sect, you'll stay inside your community because it's the only one you have left.

                            THAT, arguably more than even the Vinculum, keeps Cainites in the Sword of Caine. They are not equipped to imagine leaving, much less successfully ingratiate themselves elsewhere if they wanted to. Like the Tremere, all of this is by design. The difference is that instead of being centralized, the supernatural bonds that reinforce mental conditioning are designed around individual connections. With the hope that if different Cainites share blood enough, inter-pack and inter-faction conflict will be kept to a minimum. (It's a high minimum, because it's a collection of loosely connected religious extremists, each with their own versions of Caine's truth, and most of whom consider savage, predatory violence and cannibalism to be virtues.)

                            All of this illustrates, I think, how a member of the Sabbat might leave the sect. They may have little loyalty to the sect, its ideology, or its mission. The Vinculum doesn't care about that. It cares about whose blood they've shared. If the strongest ones are cut, leaving only weak ones, it's not impossible that vampire might bounce for lack of strong ties. If nothing else, weak ties mean they may harbor no ill will towards individuals, yet they rationalize they just won't fight those particular guys if they come into conflict in the future. If all your weak ties are in Mexico, and you move to Florida to join the Camarilla or the California to join the Anarchs, you may never meet your weak ties ever again.

                            Moreover, nothing stops a whole pack from leaving together. Though that requires more convincing to get them all on board. If it happens, though, it could explain a PC Coterie switching sects, either during or before play. The Anarchs have a minority of folks who practice the Vaulderie, so we know it happens there.
                            Last edited by Bluecho; 11-27-2022, 05:31 PM.


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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Bluecho View Post
                              My reading is that it's the exact opposite. The Vinculum ties you to individuals, but does nothing to engender particular loyalties to the sect as a whole.
                              What is a sect but the sum total of its members, as bound together through shared aims and ideology?

                              The Sabbat books are pretty clear that the Vaulderie is what holds it together, however.

                              Guide to the Sabbat, p.155: "Without the Vaulderie, the Sabbat would probably collapse under its own weight and dogma -- the chaos and anarchy that follows the sect endemically would erode what little organisation it has without the loyalty and sympathy created by the ritus."

                              V20 copies this text on p.288-9.

                              In PGttS, p.46: "Through it [the Vaulderie], they gain loyalty to the Sabbat beyond any human understanding of the word."

                              "They swear the Sabbat Oath of Fealty, pledging their heart, mind and soul to the sect."

                              On p.47: "The Vaulderie is a powerful tool to keep sect members loyal and provide them with supernatural bravery. Without the Vaulderie, the Sabbat would probably collapse. The innate anarchism of Sabbat ideology is held in balance only through this means of ensured loyalty."

                              "This rating system applies to the way Sabbat vampires feel about the sect itself in addition to the way they feel about individual vampires."

                              If it did, you wouldn't need to perform the Vaulderie with packs you meet or at gatherings.
                              You perform the Vaulderie with Sabbat you know and many of those you don't, even if you're never going to see those people again. Why bother, if it's just about maintaining individual ties? Why is it pretty much mandatory?

                              Because it isn't about those individual ties, per se, but keeping you bound and loyal to the *sum total of all those individuals* (i.e., the sect).

                              That's why Sabbat members have lots of bonds with a really wide range of people, many of whom they may never see again. Those people *are* the Sabbat.

                              It's harder to betray your sect when you have to think about your loyalty to Jim, James, Paul and Tyrone.

                              If you also have bonds to the Bishops, Archbishop, Cardinal, and all those nomadic packs you've met over the years, then it becomes that much harder.

                              Guide to the Sabbat, p.154: "...they tolerate no dissent in their ranks. From the lowliest new recruit to the most exalted priscus, the Sabbat ensure loyalty to one another through a bloody ritus known as the Vaulderie."

                              "...the Sabbat swear the Vaulderie to each other, bonding themselves to the pack instead of an individual, and thus, to the Sabbat's greater cause."

                              "This ritus is perhaps the foundation of the sect's ritae, and it is afforded the most reverent status."

                              Nor would there be Sabbat Civil Wars or factional conflicts.
                              Factional conflicts and Civil Wars are usually about winning the right to direct the sect at large. They're fought precisely *because* of loyalty to the sect.

                              Moreover, it's individual Cainites (or groups of individuals) you go up against in a Civil War -- not the sect itself. The Black Hand isn't trying to topple the Sabbat; it wants to guide it towards its own ends. It may want to get rid of the Inquisition (and vice versa), but the Inquisition isn't the whole sect, it's just some guys like them.

                              Finally, Rites of the Blood says the Auctoritas Ritae weren't formalised until the Third Sabbat Civil War was already well underway, and this was part of the Regent's plan to prevent civil war happening again. So practice of the Vaulderie may have been less central to the Sabbat prior to this -- the Auctoritas Ritae border on requirements in the Modern Nights, however.

                              The idea of "Sect First" emotional ties is more a feature of the Tremere Pyramid and drinking from the cup. It creates loyalty to the Pyramid, or at least to its leadership and the ephemeral "idea" of Clan & House Tremere. Nonetheless, Tremere plot and scheme against one another all the time, despite the partial Blood Bond to the hierarchy. So long as a Tremere can rationalize it as being for the good of the Clan, they feel nothing at engineering the downfall of their superiors or rivals. All of this is by design.
                              The Sabbat just lie to themselves more. All the ritae they practice, and most of the paths they teach, are supposed to make you a better soldier for the Sabbat (at least in part).

                              For example, STHttS, p.11: "Ritualism was instituted to heighten the sect's secrecy... It provides common bonds by which all Sabbat are united, it promotes pack pride, and it gives the sect methods of security against spies, traitors, defectors and weaklings."

                              And: "The Sabbat considers its rituals a sacred part of its heritage and culture. Rituals are not carried out in mockery, but with a sense of reverence..."

                              In Sins of the Blood, it's explained that paths were created, in part, to ensure greater loyalty to the sect. That's why the Path of Blood becomes the Path of Caine, for instance, since the Path of Blood encourages worship of Haqim (an Antediluvian) and the Path of Caine encourages worship of Caine.

                              Rites of the Blood also calls out the ritae as magic of faith as well as blood. This is important, because they're empowered in part by a pack's faith in the sect. Ritae thus create a feedback loop where they feed faith in the sect and feed upon that faith in turn.

                              The Sabbat, by contrast, is highly cellular and nodal. Vinculum ties are forged by the Vaulderie, to the Cainites one shares blood. There's no supernaturally enforced loyalty to the Sabbat as a sect. It simply doesn't square with how the sect operates, or with how the Vinculum mechanic is presented to us.
                              Exactly. The Vaulderie holds all the cells and nodes together, even when they don't see each other for years.

                              Out of character, the Vaulderie was probably also created as a way to explain why the Sabbat's secrets aren't well known to everyone else. Though that seems to have been quietly dropped.

                              PGttS says as much in a sidebar on p.13: "Sabbat vampires accept Final Death over the revelation of their sect's mysteries... This fanaticism, which stretches far beyond the bounds of loyalty, is a primary reason for the Sabbat's rapidly expanding power. All within the Sabbat are Blood Bound* to one another for the protection of the sect."

                              *This term was used interchangeably with the vinculum in this book and the STHttS.

                              THAT, arguably more than even the Vinculum, keeps Cainites in the Sword of Caine.
                              I agree that it's part of a whole range of tactics designed to keep you a zealot, but the books disagree with you here. They repeatedly state that the Vaulderie is the key thing holding the sect together.
                              Last edited by adambeyoncelowe; 11-28-2022, 07:29 AM.


                              Writer, publisher, performer
                              Mostly he/his, sometimes she/her IRL https://adam-lowe.com

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Bluecho View Post
                                THAT, arguably more than even the Vinculum, keeps Cainites in the Sword of Caine.
                                I think it has to be noted that the Clan cultures of Lasombra Vampires and Tzimisce Vampires might be an important and interesting factor in regard to leadership, organization, and teamwork of Sabbat Cainites.

                                Originally posted by Bluecho View Post
                                Moreover, nothing stops a whole pack from leaving together. Though that requires more convincing to get them all on board. If it happens, though, it could explain a PC Coterie switching sects, either during or before play. The Anarchs have a minority of folks who practice the Vaulderie, so we know it happens there.
                                Did Anarch Vampiresses and Vampires perform the Vaulderie (and perhaps other Ritae?) before V5 was released?
                                Last edited by Muad'Dib; 11-28-2022, 01:52 PM.

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