Existentialism and Vampires
Isaac last edited by
Tl;dr- existentialism, nothing matters, the moment matters, some things are special, everything matters, pizza matters. Oh and something about duh’s creamy white stuff.
Seriously, all joking aside, this is an excellent read and things for everyone to keep in mind. At the end of the day (night) you are NOT playing a human. You must keep that in mind and change your mindset to one of a predator. Doing so respects the spirit of the game and in my opinion makes it fun.
If you want to play a human load up Sims or play Second Life.
isadorbg last edited by
That was an interesting read but Existensialism kind of clashes with the WoD.
The WoD is filled with supernatural creatures that prey on humans on way or the others. It is even arguable if a human being or even a vampire always have to feedom to actually make a choice.
Think about it with stuff like Dominate, the blood bond to cite the vampiric side of it. Not to mention for vampires the Beast hinders one freedom pretty badly.
Can I really be held responsible if my beast took over and slaughtered people ? It was not MY choice afterall. And in V5 this is even more prevalent as the beast can intervene without necessarily falling in Frenzy.
Then there’s the stuff about how we are shaped by our elders especially our antideluvian. You can be the calmest man in the world but since you were embraced by the Brujah you WILL be angry cause Brujah was an angry person.
And that’s without entering the conspiracy stuff that every kindred has real free will and is just a pawn to his elder in the Jyhad. That’s of course wrong and antideluvian don’t exist.
A. Sartre re: Freedom:
- Freedom for Sartre isn’t Murika-Fuck-Yeah. Freedom is (like an equal sign, an identity statement) the fact that we can look at or think about ourselves. When “I” think about “who I am,” there’s what he calls a negation there. This gap, a space between “I” and “Me.” That gap or negation IS Freedom. That gap opens up infinite possibilities. No, not delusion. He’d call that “bad faith.”
- Keep in mind with regard to Elders and external influence: Sartre praised Che Guevara as the most fully human person alive at the time. So his existentialism was always involved staring unblinkingly at your situaton as it really is and not separating yourself from it. This is your life. It’s real. Now what are you going to do?
B. Camus re: Freedom:
I’d say with regard to the Beast that he’d posit Frenzy as the only period of actual freedom available to Cainites. Frenzy is the only time a Cainite is fully embedded in and experiencing the present. It’s the only time they are relating to the world Absurdly, in a fit of meaningless, precious inconsequentiality. And that’s what makes the curse so much worse. Now that you’re Eternal, the only escape from your unbearable suffering is to become an animal, with Humanity 0, no sentience but infinite experience.
Even as humans, we/us/our for real us, are confronted with decisions and choices every day. Many things influence those decisions. We are not entirely free of outside or even internal influence. Parents, bosses, officials, loved ones, they all have influence over us.
We may not have a “Beast” inside of us, but we do have primal urges, sexual urges, etc. This is why so many people choose to do the “wrong” thing. Someone confronted with a person they desire, choosing to have an affair. Someone confronted with a yummy cupcake, choosing to eat it when they are on a diet. These are simplistic examples, but they are choices WE make.
This where the saying, “The Devil Made Me Do It” comes from. We say that to relieve ourselves of that fact we did something “wrong.”
Vampires have a Beast inside of them that drives them to feed, to connive, to manipulate, all out of a desire to survive. You can look at it like the Vampire is not making the choice, but since the Beast IS them and they ARE the Beast, you can not separate it. Try as you might. You still are driven, almost every night, to do something horrible, which is harm someone in order to live. You do have a choice though…a big one.
You could choose to walk into the sunlight and die. But you don’t. You want to live. You want to survive. You can boohoo and cry and pray for forgiveness, but there isn’t any coming so long as you continue on doing what you have to do to survive.
Scarecrow last edited by
@malevolence okay, so this is something I’ve wanted to ask, but was afraid to, given the monster I awoke (also, so Duh won’t hurt me).
But, as they say, the toothpaste is out of the tube…
So, the Beast. Is it a collective thing, or individual to each Vampire? Hector’s beast is different from Felicia’s beast (I think we all knew that…). Or…is the Beast like a collective urge that expresses itself within each different Vampire?
I can see arguments for either side. The idea of being descended from Caine, of a Curse that is passed on, that it arose from one to many over the years and generations, all supports the Collective idea. (plus many other reasons).
The idea each Vampire’s Beast drives them to compete with other Vampires/Beasts, the urge for self-preservation, and other stuff all suggest that the Beast arises differently within each person. Bbut not like there’s a host of unheavenly Beasts-in-waiting, all playing the kazoo (off-key) in some infernal choir while they await for a new Deadite to be embraced.
Or have I gone too far down this path?
George last edited by
@scarecrow Maaaaan, I’ve thought way too much about this shit. No idea what the answer is on Sang + V5 but taking a holistic view from the perspectives of (20A) VtM, WtA and MtA, I’ve always considered the Beast individual to each person, as I see it as a warping/corrupting of the human’s ‘soul’. That’s all a Vampire is; a soul that permeates through blood in a static husk.
And it sorta makes sense since, without getting into too much of the lore/detail, Vampires can’t become Mages and (except for those with incredibly high Humanity) are always ‘corrupt’ to Werewolves. Also diablerie. Sucking the soul out of the body.
Gives an interesting perspective on Blood Bonds, too! Soul-touching and all that stuff.
We may want to move Beast Ontogeny to its own thread to keep the two discussions follow-along-able.
Each Beast is different and each Beast is the same. In a nutshell.
To further explain:
The Beast is just that, a Beast. An animal. An animal that wants what it wants when it wants is BUT is kept under control by the Human within who it resides.
You can compare it to Lion-
Lions can be tamed, trained, caged- but they are still a lion with lion instincts. How many of you remember Sigfried and Roy in Las Vegas? They treated their lions like children and had a successful act for many, many years. One day, a lion turned and attacked. Something within that lion drove him to do that.
So it is with the Beast. Each Vampire can tame and cage it. Each vampire nightly does a little dance with their Beast wherein they feed it - just a little bit- to keep it sated. Or at least, not ravenous. They feed it by manipulating and conniving and using those around them. Blood and treachery keep the Beast “satisfied” to a point. But there always comes a time when it will burst free. In may be during an argument (This is not rolled enough) or when embarrassed (Same with this) or during danger (Same) or fear (Same) or, the one we see the most of, when it is feeding.
If you wait too long to sate the Beast- you go too long between hunts and I do mean hunts, you deny your anger as a Brujah, keep yourself away from beauty too long as a Toreador, not indulge your animalistic urges as a Gangrel, hide away your true visage as a Nosferatu, deny the voices in your head that give you insight as a Malkavian, etc etc…all of these can pick at the Beast like a human chips away the control you have over your Beast. This is why your Vampire is NEVER fully, truly sated unless it kills. It is ALWAYS hungry. That is the Beast reminding you it exists. This is why Vampires can NEVER remain at high humanity. Eventually, it becomes too hard to deny it and it’s easier to give in.
Now, many players argue that and they are free to do so but this is the interpretation we run in our game. High humanity, “nice,” “sweet” vampires do not last. They either walk into the Sun, are killed because they are a threat or too annoying (to be blunt) or they give in and realize they are a Vampire, a predator, they have Beast and they must indulge it.
To sum up-
All Beasts are the same. They have urges and triggers, it varies from Clan to Clan, but there is not one Beast that is “better” than any other. They ALL want what they want when they want it and it is only through “negotiation” (Rolls that signify you character actively trying to stuff the Beast into the cage again, to “negotiate” with it, tame it temporarily) and sheer willpower (signified by spending willpower) that a Vampire can tame it temporarily, but eventually, your luck runs out and BOOM. Frenzy.