World of Darkness
World of Darkness Blog
Created 345 days ago
Gamer, Singer, Trainer, Storyteller, and all-around swell cat.
Been playing WoD since the original VtM came out back in 1991, though I've been into RPG's since the D&D red-box in Grade 6.
First book I ever read: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe (I have the hots for sinister female leads thanks to this novel)
Favourite Movie: The Sound of Music
Favourite Computer Game: Any adventure game by Sierra On-Line, particularly the Gabriel Knight series.
Merit: 2 Flaw: 0
In a game that essentially boils down to your skill at one-upmanship, the ability to garner the most power/influence/wealth/status/etc., or as I like to call it - the art of social and political backstabbery, the Tradition of Hospitality has always struck me as incredibly shallow, hypocritical and two-faced.
“Honor the domains of others, and present oneself to the ruler of any domain you visit.” So says the Fifth Tradition for Camarilla Kindred.
What it really boils down to is:
- Introduce yourself to the Prince as soon as you arrive in any city, even if you don’t plan on staying long. Cainites that haven’t been officially “welcomed” by the Prince are subject to summary banishment, or even blood hunts, for violating the Fifth Tradition
- No hunting, violence, crime, or other effrontery that would bring unwanted attention/threaten the Masquerade while in the domain of another Kindred.
Now, the second point raises the question “How am I supposed to know whether or not this neighbourhood/park/police department/stretch of beach/apartment building/puddle/geographical area has been claimed as someone’s Domain?” Remember – Domain does not always have to be a physical location – it can also include esoteric concepts like “the press” or “the homeless.” Regardless, a fine question by all accounts. The answer is – you don’t, at first. The only way to find out who’s called dibs on this place or that group is to ask the locals. Until you know for sure, the only safe place to conduct your vampiric bidniss is at Elysium or the Rack.
Typical punishments for violation of this Tradition include things like owing a Boon to the Kindred whose Domain you violated, banishment from the Domain in question (with subsequent violations leading to banishment from the city, or worse...), forfeiture of some of your own wealth/status/influence/herd to the Kindred whose Domain you violated, to some ruthless Princes who I’ve seen enforce a first-stage blood bond. I’ve also seen some unscrupulous Sheriffs take matters into their own hands and practice a little “I won’t tell the Prince, but you owe me.....”
So how can a neonate get ahead in this crazy unlife, hunh? Welcome to the Camarilla, kid – only the clever get ahead. Obviously this works a little differently in Sabbat-controlled cities. Monomacy allows any Sabbat Cainite to go after something that happens to have already been claimed by another. For the Camarilla folks, though, you’ve got to work a little more craftily. Camarilla Neonates have to practice the fine art of Ass-Kissitude or Bum-Lickery, at least until they’ve built themselves enough of a foundation to carve out their own small piece of the pie. With a foot in the door, the real fun begins – influence-peddling, subtle manipulation of a rival’s reputation, using unwitting subordinates to commit foul deeds so that it can’t be traced back to you, and so on and so forth.
The bottom line, however, is that more often than not we are smiling to the Kindred’s face, while at the same time actively working to subvert their status and influence in favour of furthering our own interests.
As with each of my Tradition blogs so far, I ask myself – can this be achieved in the MMO? Again it comes back to whether or not CCP is planning on having any game mechanics for social and political manipulation, or if it will all be left to roleplay between players.
Domain itself is probably a little more easily defined. Players could gain ownership of a certain group of city blocks, or even esoteric groups like “the police”. An automated report could make its way back to the Kindred who owns the Domain any time someone harms a policeman or burns down a building on a certain neighbourhood. It could then be up to the Kindred who owns the Domain to investigate. Maybe the Prince gets a copy of the report and, depending on whether or not the Kindred is on good terms with the Prince, either assigns some resources to help investigate or puts a timeframe on the Kindred to resolve the problem on their own. A Kindred who can’t control his own Domain could end up losing their Domain piece by piece...
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345 days ago
Oh, yes please. Essentially, I see territory as one of the driving forces of the game, in terms of player motivation. In a blood-based economy, the more physical territory you control, the better hunting rights you have, and control of the more 'esoteric groups like "the police".' lends itself to gaining political power through control of law enforcement, media etc. If they implement a system as sugested in your last paragraph, it opens the door for a perpetual goal for any or all players willing to put in the effort... Game on :-)