Confession of Low Excitement

  • Hilt

    I wish this weren’t the case, but I’m having trouble feeling any juice for playing Unalligned. The lack of sectual politics combined with the ultra danger of the 2nd Inquisition takes like all the motive out of gathering. Why would any Unalligned character go to the Not-Elysium-Elysium? The need for safety makes just doing your thing and not engaging other vamps way more sensible. Just get your food aND live your life and stay invisible.

    Like that was the thing about the Camarilla. They made it impossible to do that. There was no freedom from the sect. So you had better try to climb the pyramid, or it will crush you.

    But now… the pressure is gone. If the Camarilla were actively hunting the unalligned, that would be one thing. Then we’d need to link up to survive. But now? If a duse just wants to sit in their jacuzzi 24/7, they totally can.

    Even if a character has Influence goals… like “I wanna own all the hair salons,” that still doesn’t really create a motivation to engage other Kindred. There’s no societal pyramid there for them to climb. There’s no power structure there to usE or to fear. Why bother going to meet the vamps? Even if they’ll be your competition in the hair salon business, and even if you actually care enough to be upset about that, you’d still be better off never having met them and revealed yourself.

    So it’s like… cool, I have a Hair Salon Mogul concept. What could possibly motivate him to get on the server and say hello to the vamps? What could make him want to talk to anyone other than his Hair Salon sphere?

  • I think we all went through this thought process, and here’s how I worked my way through it.

    I remembered that now, without the Camarilla, there’s so many avenues to take. You can, as you said, go sit in your jacuzzi for two hundred hours. But… let’s be honest, this is a roleplaying game, so what’s the point in that? Go interact with the other characters. I know it’s a little meta, but honestly, why else are you here?

    If there’s no power structure? It’s a great time to try establish your own.

    Remember, there will also be coteries formed. Vampires aren’t stupid (most of them) – they know that they need each other to survive. Especially at a time when there’s an inquisition. Especially the lower level ones. Especially the lower level ones. Remember that even though we may be considered Autarkis, the old canon Autarkis were older, and powerful and could survive alone.

    Anyway, tl;dr version:
    It’s a vampire game, why are you here if not to roleplay. Make your own power grab. You’re young, you need help.

  • The way I look at it is it’s a time of incredible opportunity for childer (which we all are). If we were with the Cam, we’d be licking Elder/Ancilla boot heels and hoping desperately for crumbs.

    Now, there’s a city that’s been wiped clean. The Cam is there and sure, they have some notable players, but they sure don’t have the grip they did a year ago. Whereas before they could order, now they must bargain.

    And for any other Sects in play, there’s possible recruitment or manipulation. And the savvy young Kindred can cut their fangs on trying to play off various groups for the best benefit. Or, to be so slick that you build up a bit of cachet all of their own, and you’re start being able to bargain on a much more level playing field.

    I’m reminded of a character in a book series (Steven Brust’s Dragaeran Cycle) who was a cunning crime lord. He was described as rising to power in the aftermath of a cataclysm by making carefully bold moves, then being strong enough to declare that he was at the top of the crime heap - or that at least wherever he was was the top. And making it stick.

    There are Ancilla and such around…but not many. And they likely don’t want to stick their neck out for every little wrinkle and ripple. That’s what little fledgeling pudwackers are for. And that’s who you’ll be engaging with, for good or bad. Maybe YOU can be a more effective little pudwacker than the ones those Ancilla have. So maybe…profit!

    But maybe that’s just me.

  • Michael makes a very good point and that’s how I am choosing to look at it as well. All of us are on the outs for one reason or another. It is up to us to decide where we go from here, whether that’s to try to get back into the Sects that abandoned us, to fight for the opposing Sect, or to take the city for our own. That means scoping out the competition and trying to decide who is an ally and who needs to be removed.

    Welcome to Branton: The Hunger Games Edition.

  • I’m more in the Duh camp really. There is some suspension of disbelief needed kind of with characters. Because really I did struggle as well with why would my character honestly be here. There was a good discussion in the OOC channel the one night around the subject.

    End of the day I think Duh’s comment “But… let’s be honest, this is a roleplaying game, so what’s the point in that? Go interact with the other characters. I know it’s a little meta, but honestly, why else are you here?” Is at the heart of it. Does it all make sense, maybe not but you just sometimes have to hand wave some things because it’s a game.

  • I think that Vampire is a fundamentally a game of personal horror. You don’t need to be a superhero or a primogen or a mogul (hair salon or any other variety) to enjoy it. I think there is something new and fun about being a newly created vampire who is in a dangerous terrifying world where those who should be guiding you have closed the gates and everything you thought you knew about vampire society is dying in flame and explosions.

    Interact with other people because your character is alone and frightened or interact with them because they have something you want or interact with them merely by chance because you are both trying to survive in the same night in the same city. Yeah, you probably won’t be a machiavellian Prince or Baron playing grand strategy with the city, but I hope you’ll find other things to enjoy.

  • I will preface this by saying I’ve read very little of the V5 material, and have only gathered info from Sang and those attached to it. So, let me see if I can help…

    From how I read your post, you have an issue with the lack of direct pressure and, thus, the need to grow to not get crushed. As Unaligned/Unbound, it feels like there’s no real reason to grow nor engage other vamps. “Just get your food and live your life and stay invisible”.
    Except, in my belief, it’s never that simple. Survival is never that simple. Even getting your food can lead to significant complications. So, then what?
    From how I see it, your character could attempt to become self-sufficient, and try to mitigate any possible issues that might come up. But, you know you can’t do everything. It’s too hard to have ‘all the dots’.
    So, you could attempt to stay unattached and invisible, forming alliances and whatnot to have people to save your undead ass when shit goes wrong. But, how do you pay them back by if you’ve got nothing to give?

    That leaves your character needing to do both.You need to have allies for areas you can’t cover, and have areas that you cover to pay your allies (and keep them alive as well…). Do you want to be the hair salon king? Fuckin’ do it. But think about what that gets you and how you can use that to help you survive another night. Reliable Herd? Resources? Contacts through gossips? Anything is possible.

    Honestly, what it comes down to is ‘survival’. Whether your character is physically incredible, a social powerhouse, or a straight up mental genius, find something that you can do to help you survive. Make your ambitions about achieving things that boil down into a comfortable safety net to help you survive.
    V5 feels like a game about survival, and the personal horror is now part of the (sometimes terrible) things Vampires need to do to survive another night.


  • Lead Storytellers Administrators

    @george fucking perfect

  • I’ll also toss out that if any player feels stuck getting their characters engaged, feel free to reach out to me and we’ll try to find a level of engagement.

    Now, I don’t expect Hector to be very nice, so we may have to cobble it together, and it may not be all sunshine and roses (which, I guess, would be a good thing). But after all, the only thing better than a good friend is a good rival, amirite??

    But also everyone will have coterie members. At least ONE of you should have some kind of plan or ambition that people can jump on. And seeing who’s in your coterie might give ideas of talents you can tap into for ambitions of your own.

    Sometimes we just have to mumble our way past initial reasons to get into the pulse of a scene - or a chronicle.

    (Hector Morejon)

  • Lead Storytellers Administrators

    As for that, we haven’t done the coteries yet, so don’t develop ties. Once we have a sufficient amount of sheets in- which we are nowhere near right now as people are either slow to fix things we sent back or haven’t even submitted their first draft yet- we will do coteries then you will be given time to connect with them and go over ties.

  • @george I agree. Playing a game about personal and political horror is very much about surviving.

  • Hilt

    Since this thread just got resurrected, I want to be totally clear and unambiguous in saying that I fucking love V5 generally and this Chronicle/Setting specifically. Just in case I hadn’t made that clear, I’m like head overy heels for V5 and Branton and Sanguinus and the Players and the ST’s and the Characters and the Storylines and everything. Everything is baller to the max.

    My “confession of low excitement” is null and void, and I totes recant.

    [[Stamp of Official Boom-Boom]]