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.