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Is taking blood from a blood bank less ethical than hunting?

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  • #46
    Well, some thoughts about everything. I guess the difference between feeding from a person would be the difference between killing a chicken to eat and buying a chicken on the supermarket.
    Also, beyond being a way to keep the Beast in check, Humanity is not real humanity, is just a behavioral and belief system, so their tenants are about an commonly spread concept of how a human is supposed to behave.
    About weakening the powers based on their high Humanity, what's the problem with the Inconnu? There are several ways to play, and some people may look to the Golconda with the same eagerness that others want to dominate the business world or discover mystical secrets.
    But, going back to the original topic, I guess drinking from a bloodbag would be less inhumane than drinking from a living human, and that's especially true to Giovanni, Lamia and Nagajara.

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    • #47
      Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
      It was a tongue in cheek response. But on the flipside do you think Salubri can get around their weakness by cutting open their victims and drinking once it's outside the vessel, or do you think the tremere have been witch-hunting Salubri by offering everyone blood bags from forced donors and seeing who wretches? The Salubri weakness is really stupid. The idea that there's a clan killed by the Tremere that were so nice that their weakness was that they needed consenting victims really should only be seen as anti-tremere slander.
      I think that the Salubri weakness is a play style choice that requires different thinking. The act of giving the blood is the key factor, willingly giving their blood for another, the end result of it being consumed by a vampire or topping off an accident victim who is a quart low is immaterial.

      As for how to work with the salubri weakness, you have several options to pick from depending on what sort of character you want to play.
      1. Blood bond the mortal, then ask them to let you feed on them.
      2. Using the healing properties of vitae and Obeah, you earn actual gratitude and the most grateful and loyal become your Herd.
      3. Feeding from freely donated blood kept at blood banks fits with the consent metaphor that the healers need.
      4. Form a blood cult around you, with your followers providing blood offerings.

      The thing about Healer Salubri is that they really don't hunt except in an emergency when they just accept the willpower loss as the cost of survival. What they are practically designed to do is function off of the Herd background.

      Auspex makes them seers and potential oracles, Fortitude enhances their survivability and makes for great religious leader miracle fodder, and lastly Obeah & vitae allow for healing and life extension. In a way you can a Salubri fairly close to how you would play a Face of the Gods dharma Kuei-jin from Kindred of the East. Now such a cult leader can be full on Jim Jones or they can be well meaning faith healers.

      As for the Tremere hunting the Salubri, I remember when the Salubri were first introduced and the whole Tremere hunt thing wasn't released yet, so for me the Salubri were an extreme case of RetCon Ravioli. I resolve the plot hole of the Healers being hunted by the idea that the Warrior Salubri were the ones being targeted for extermination, and the Healers got caught up in the interclan warfare. Yes the warrior salubri were largely associated with the Sabbat era, but they were the ones on the frontlines during the Baali Wars according to the fluff. The Warrior Salubri clan weakness really doesn't make it a hard sell to encourage staking any vampire with three eyes.

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      • #48
        Originally posted by Thoth View Post
        I resolve the plot hole of the Healers being hunted by the idea that the Warrior Salubri were the ones being targeted for extermination, and the Healers got caught up in the interclan warfare.
        I would like to note that more than just a few Salubri could have very well survived to the modern era - or to the Modern Nights.

        And certainly it is also possible that some of them have at least retained considerable amount of for example influence and resources, and also developed their qualities and skills.

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        • #49
          Originally posted by ShovelHeart3 View Post
          I guess I'll just be honest: I disagree with even having this debate. If you're going to play a game about vampires, why not act (and think) like one? And that raises the question: what is a vampire? A vampire is a predator. It's an evolutionary weapon that directly draws its power from consuming humanity in a position of inherent superiority through violence and/or manipulation. So, to even begin with the ethical struggles at such a mundane point is ridiculous, imo. The vampiric ethos is inherently antagonistic and the humanity worship is absolutely one of the worst and most boring aspects of the game, again, imho...the fanged boy scout "personal horror" stuff is just so lame.

          Tangent:
          In fact, I wish there were penalties for being too high humanity - yeah, it makes total sense that you get all these cool powers from being a super-predator, but are somehow intrinsically the same person with a couple pointier teeth and a UV allergy. I think if your character is worried about who might not be getting their red bag, then you should have your disciplines capped at the first level or something to that affect. If you want to stay "human" as much as possible, why should you get the benefits of vampirism? You shouldn't.

          Not trying to be too negative, it's just how I feel about it and status quo collectivism oversaturating everything.
          The only penalty I know involving high humanity would be in the case of tupor, in the case of high humanity you would stay longer in that state.

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          • #50
            Originally posted by Muad'Dib View Post

            I would like to note that more than just a few Salubri could have very well survived to the modern era - or to the Modern Nights.

            And certainly it is also possible that some of them have at least retained considerable amount of for example influence and resources, and also developed their qualities and skills.
            From what I know, it is mentioned that there are only seven Salubri in the world, officially, I don't know if they count the Antitribun, but it is understood that the ST can interpret this fact as true or not.

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            • #51
              Originally posted by ShovelHeart3 View Post
              I guess I'll just be honest: I disagree with even having this debate. If you're going to play a game about vampires, why not act (and think) like one? And that raises the question: what is a vampire? A vampire is a predator. It's an evolutionary weapon that directly draws its power from consuming humanity in a position of inherent superiority through violence and/or manipulation. So, to even begin with the ethical struggles at such a mundane point is ridiculous, imo. The vampiric ethos is inherently antagonistic and the humanity worship is absolutely one of the worst and most boring aspects of the game, again, imho...the fanged boy scout "personal horror" stuff is just so lame.

              Tangent:
              In fact, I wish there were penalties for being too high humanity - yeah, it makes total sense that you get all these cool powers from being a super-predator, but are somehow intrinsically the same person with a couple pointier teeth and a UV allergy. I think if your character is worried about who might not be getting their red bag, then you should have your disciplines capped at the first level or something to that affect. If you want to stay "human" as much as possible, why should you get the benefits of vampirism? You shouldn't.

              Not trying to be too negative, it's just how I feel about it and status quo collectivism oversaturating everything.
              My impression is that you would love to be a kindred of the Sabbat.

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              • #52
                Originally posted by Psicose View Post

                From what I know, it is mentioned that there are only seven Salubri in the world, officially, I don't know if they count the Antitribun, but it is understood that the ST can interpret this fact as true or not.
                Even within the accounts or the rumours that there are not that many Salubri Vampires, you can also count their Childe, and possibly also Salubri Ghouls. Also they should have some friends, lovers, supporters, and so on.
                The Salubri Vampires which are considered to be Salubri Antitribu are cleary describes as a group (or a small organisation) that is separate and also distinctly involved with the Sabbat.

                I agree that in regard to these and similar descriptions and paragraphs, it is up to the Storyteller and each Player to consider to what extent (objectively and subjectively, and also in regard to for example consistency and also quality) a particular story and text is correct, true, and relevant.
                Last edited by Muad'Dib; 03-26-2023, 04:48 PM.

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                • #53
                  MyWifeIsScary here you go: https://www.openicpsr.org/openicpsr/...ersion/V1/view

                  Originally posted by Saur Ops Specialist View Post
                  V:tM has been heavy-handed enough with the metaplot and other various measures in the past, so there should still only be an implicit limit inflicted by not having the reserves to do much. It doesn't need to actually hit the player over the head with a shovel before playing a vampire.
                  Can you specifically list all of those factors, so that we can compare them to the other end of the Humanity spectrum? Because you talk about minor contextual limitations for high H vamps, but let's look at the experience for low H vamps:
                  -most of vampiric society is against you
                  -you run greater risk of losing yourself to the Beast
                  -you are a far bigger Inquisition target
                  -you will face greater adversity, both from NPC's and PC's
                  -your lifespan is likely to be much lower and your unlife is much more difficult

                  On the other hand, high H vampires live a relatively easy and coddled unlife. Their survival is far more assured. So, it logically makes perfect sense for them to have some explicit limitations to balance out there privileges. Humanity, imo, should be risk/reward. Will you take on greater challenge to grow more powerful through adversity, or will you base your survival on comfort through the path of least resistance? Again, it makes exactly zero sense for high humanity kindred to have access to higher disciplines. They can't relate to or understand them; they don't work for them and from a balance perspective, they simply don't deserve them. The implicit limitations can be circumvented and are not enough. There should be more balanced trade-offs for the decisions you make as a vampire.

                  Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                  I can spare some time and perhaps actually get this tangent back on topic:

                  Increasing testosterone doesn't make people more conservative, it makes them more reactionary. As a neurotransmitter, the hormone increases your prioritization of threat responses over other considerations. Most of the studies do not find that this is a universal impact on political reactions: it doesn't make everyone more conservative. The most profound reaction is on "weak left" identifying men. Right identifying people show no significant response changes, and strong left identifying people show no significant response changes or sometimes actually move farther left (again, it makes you more reactionary). Men also take less testosterone to cause neurological state changes even though all humans use it as part of our emotional regulation.

                  To try to pivot though, this only goes back to my point about defining a starting ethical framework for any of this to matter. If you inject a bunch of people in a calm and safe mental space with testosterone... nothing is going to happen (well, they might get fidgety, you are loading them up with a stimulant) as long as nothing else changes. It only matters when you actually add more context. You can't even start to gauge the concept of how neurology impacts political opinions with defining political ideologies to slot things into. The ethics of being a vampire likewise require context to analyze. It doesn't matter how much of a change becoming a vampire is to the character: ethics are an emergent property of applied moral philosophy. If we are analyzing the ethics of their actions from an external perspective any changes on an individual level don't matter. If we're analyzing it from an in-character perspective, we don't have to go full relativist on this, but we have to at least consider things like Humanity being a real thing for vampires to deal with (and deal with the RAW, not how we feel it should be done), and things like The Traditions, since those are going to set moral benchmarks to decide how ethical a vampire is being by common vampire moral principles.
                  Actually, the effect was due to an increase in positive mood, as specified in the study. This coincides with testosterone deficiency being known to produce irritability in males.

                  Anyway, my point is that people aren't understanding or properly conceptualizing how drastic changing your species is. "Morality" is just feelings in your brain. They are not universal and are subjective. My point about testosterone is to illustrate how even changing the level of a single hormone in a normal human being can produce a significant behavioral change. Now, think about how vampirism completely changes you from head to toe, leaving every cell in your body unmolested. Do you think you will emerge from such a metamorphosis as fundamentally the same person? No, you won't. You're not a "person" anymore. You are a pure predator descended from a murderer, optimized to hunt human beings for sustenance. The Beast would not tolerate the bagged shit ad nauseum from even the most altruistically committed kindred.
                  Last edited by ShovelHeart3; 03-27-2023, 12:40 PM.

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                  • #54
                    Originally posted by Psicose View Post

                    My impression is that you would love to be a kindred of the Sabbat.
                    Not really, the Sabbat are quite dogmatic and I do strongly support the Masquerade. I also prefer the idea of shepherding humanity instead of outright ruling it. I like Star Wars, but I've never been a Jedi or a Sith guy. The Sabbat are just another kind of "Sith", if that makes sense.

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                    • #55
                      Originally posted by ShovelHeart3 View Post
                      Anyway, my point is that people aren't understanding or properly conceptualizing how drastic changing your species is.
                      Ethics don't really care though. Ethics are, generally, not defined by personal gut moral feelings. If you're a doctor, you have membership in organizations that have set ethical standards for doctors that you need to abide by to be a member in good standing (and losing your standing could jeopardize your license and employment). Whatever personal shit someone is going through doesn't change medical ethics set in such a fashion.

                      That's why I keep banging on about frameworks:ethical questions are questions that only matter in a context greater than individual moral opinions.

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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post

                        Ethics don't really care though. Ethics are, generally, not defined by personal gut moral feelings. If you're a doctor, you have membership in organizations that have set ethical standards for doctors that you need to abide by to be a member in good standing (and losing your standing could jeopardize your license and employment). Whatever personal shit someone is going through doesn't change medical ethics set in such a fashion.

                        That's why I keep banging on about frameworks:ethical questions are questions that only matter in a context greater than individual moral opinions.
                        OK, so it's evident that if this is the "ethical framework" acting as the status quo, then there is a problem of conceptualization by the player base and encouraged by VTM. The Traditions are merely the monopolization of power into the hands of the Camarilla to produce social compliance and servitude. These are feasible ethics. The Sabbat has feasible ethics. Having an internal debate about how "ethical" bagged VS body blood is where things are not feasible. It is neither immersive or "realistic". In the Camarilla, Cleavers are looked down upon and stigmatized. Even the most domesticated sect encourages hunting instead of passively existing. They would not be so dominant without an edge, so I don't understand what source material is inducing this "ethical" purity spiraling. Let me just lay my cards on the table: if you're purity spiraling over Humanity, you're playing the game wrong. Why? Because it's an RPG. You are not playing your role, but using vampirism as a superficial accessory. It'd be like if someone created an Orc character that strives to be an egalitarian pacifist. This why we need greater drawbacks for Humanity worship to cultivate better role play. I'm sorry I have to be so contentious, but pining over how harmful bagged blood is is not good roleplay. This is exactly why I said Humanity, or at least how it's conveyed, is one of the worst aspects of the game.

                        Again, I'm not trying to belittle or insult anyone, I'm just passionate about the roleplaying and immersive facets of VTM and every other game I play and I appreciate your articulate position on the subject.

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                        • #57
                          It feels like you're conflating a few things there.

                          Also keep in mind that there isn't a specific edition this thread was said to be focused on. How the Sects feel about things, and how Humanity impacts things, and so on, aren't 100% consistent. Especially not with the changes introduced in V5. For example older editions were written while the safety of blood transfusions regarding various diseases was under some heavy scrutiny, and the Camarilla was presented as being more concerned that since (in the old rules) you needed more bagged blood for the same amount of fresh blood, there was an increased risk of vampires becoming disease spreaders if the bag supply was tainted compared to highly curated Herds (of course it's not well thought out because no Herd is actually any better curated than blood donations were in the late 80s/early 90s).

                          A lot of people are also not expecting such a strong focus on immersion focused perspectives when discussing more hypothetical aspects of the game.

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                          • #58
                            Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                            A lot of people are also not expecting such a strong focus on immersion focused perspectives when discussing more hypothetical aspects of the game.
                            And my question to that is: why? As we are playing a Role Playing Game, shouldn't immersion be the foundation upon which everything else is built and all questions are asked?

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                            • #59
                              Well, first, we're not playing the game. We're talking about playing the game. A lot of forum discussions aren't focused on immersion because they're about exploring the game outside of play for a variety of reasons (better understand of the setting, contemplation of house rules/changes, the sheer fun of it for some of us, etc.).

                              Second, not everyone feels that immersion is a vital part of RPGs. While pretty much everyone wants some level of verisimilitude to their games, lots of people play for reasons other than full immersion, and have a strong case that role-playing from a more detached point-of-view is a completely functional way of enjoying the process. The main focus for most people is really going to be fun, because it's a game. A lot of people have more fun when it's not hardcore immersion. Even if for no other reason than the number of horror stories a lot of RPGers have of people being bad players (in terms of RPGing being primarily a group activity and being respectful of other people in the game) and trying to justify it as just being immersed in their character.

                              While certainly not something to go on too much about in this thread, "immersive play in RPGs" has a similar reputation as Method acting.

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                              • #60
                                Well, I will say that much in Vampire in terms of morality are quite individual and immediate in nature. You suffer Stain (or Remorse roll in the old eds.) when you do something bad to someone usually. Generally it seems that the text from books define it as "when you do it". So if the Storyteller defined that, the person you drained a safe and small amount of blood, died cuz of a sickness or crossing the street because of the anaemia... well, then there is little material (that I know) which would say that is a Stain cause. It would depend of the Player, the Storyteller and the Chronicle vibe (or Tenets). If it is a Chronicle about consequences, and the little things through the years chipping away Humanity, then maybe.... but probably not (not mechanically should be any consequences).
                                And yeah, even if doing some secret rolls, if your PC drank very safely, and they decided to have the NPC die like that, this hypothetical situation would've been quite arbitrary.

                                All this to say, no, I don't think that stealing from blood bank is unethical to most Vampire ideologies. After all, if they let themselves live, than they value their own life someway, or their sanity (being perpetually hungry will only make the Beast control you). So, if they MUST live, than they MUST feed. Just like anyone. Think of someone stealing to not die of hunger. But instead of assaulting a person on the street, or robbing a family home, you are going to a bank (and in this case, not making an armed robbery). And liking it or not, as a mainly "living" (animate) and sentient being, vampires would've also be "deserving" of being rescued by the blood of donors. Of course, if your ethics are more legal based, or intention dependent, than yeah, unethical to steal it, for sure. But if you think stealing something meant to save people, to save yourself, and save possible victims from yourself, is just, than yeah, ethical action here.
                                That is why so much of the game states that this is the most "humane" way. Cuz the blood in the bank is meant to help people anyway, one way or another. You can even say that since such institutions are private, your not stealing from people, but a company, so even less ethical strife.

                                That would be my take anyway. But I do find the discussion interesting. It also brings back those allegories of vampires as the plague-bearers, as the vengeance, as the mortality of mankind, as aristocracy, as parasites, as the dominant class, as sensual alluring creatures. And there is many parasitical things in our world, and we don't necessarily find their right to live unethical. Be that good, or bad.‚Äč


                                Strange... When coincidence seems too convenient, I prefer to call it fate.

                                -Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain d=

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