Camarilla Influence System

Basic Actions

Keep in mind that the Camarilla is a highly social organization. Social standing is of the utmost imporance. Why is it important? It breaks down as follows:

  • The Masq - The Masq is the central stake of the Camarilla. This Camarilla is a world wide conspiracy designed to hide vampires from mortals. It was established due to vamps getting burned during the Inquisition, and continues do this day, regardless of the Fall. The cat might be out of the bag, but it's not the first time that particular cat has been out. The Camarilla's attitude is that if they just press on long enough, humans will eventually forget. If they don't, that won't stop the Camarilla from continuing to hide. Just because mortals know about other vampires doesn't mean they need to know about Camarilla vampires. As a by product of this great obfuscation of vampires, the Camarilla has become adept at manipulating and controlling mortal organizations, which also leads to a great deal of material wealth and power. These resources are supposed to be used to advance the Camarilla's political agenda and values, but hey if they make a vampire's life more comfortable…all the better.

Princes are a hold over from the days before the Camarilla and the Sabbat, but the Prince is the central figure in any given city and it's his or her job to make sure the Traditions, in particular this one, are enforced. By force if required. If you live in a city, you live there at the pleasure of the Prince. The more you support the Prince's and/or the Camarilla's agenda, the better your standing will be. This is usually different than doing the right thing, but that's a whole other matter. So if the Prince is the central figure in the Camarilla city, then how does supporting the Prince/Camarilla affect your PC? Lets take a look at what is at stake for vampires.

  • Feeding Rights - For you to continue your unlife you need to feed. To feed you need the right to so so. The desire is to do so as safely as possible. Herds, Domains, feeding grounds, Racks, these are all places cultivated for this activity by the Prince or by permission of the Prince. As I've said before, you dwell in a city at the pleasure of the Prince so you feed or do not feed where the Prince tells you to. Having difficult, dangerous or distant feeding resources can be a problem if you are injured or need blood quickly. The easier accses you have to blood the more rapidly you can heal and meet your nightly needs. Further more, those granted feeding grounds or Domains have a steady stream of political power granted to them by those of lesser status who they allow to make use of their feeding grounds.
  • Domain - The feeding right mentioned above are only the tip of the iceberg. If you want to operate a business in a Camarilla city you again, do so at the pleasure of the Prince. This is done because if your business relationships threaten the Masq then that is the Prince's problem. The Prince often grants elders and primogen Domains in order to help him manage the sect's resources in any given city. If you are looking to gain influence over a particular mortal sphere, you could endangering yourself unless you are properly conneted politically. This often means working directly with the Prince or with an elder or primogen in order to gain access the appropriate resources.
  • Broods & Childer - One of the great advantages of being Prince is the ability to create broods. Broods are groups of childer all embraced around the same time who are and introduced to the Camarilla by the sire. The advantages here are more long term, but evident. Having a coterie of vampires who think like you and support you politically can have it's advantages, especially if they are blood bound. The Prince on occasion does allow elders and primogen to create Childer, but this is only done in exceptional circumstances.
  • Ghouls - Ghoul retainers make loyal and reliable servants and their uses are evident. They are also a breach of the Masq. They are usually limited to those who have the wisdom to manage them. While not the crime that making a vampire is, making a human ghoul with out permission is generally scorn or even bloodhunt worthy. Making animal ghouls could be considered a threat to the Prince's rule through army building and is also looked down upon.

Status is really a matter of privilege. The more status one has, the more privilege, the ability to choose and act freely, one has. It sucks to be micromanaged and status is the means by which one is able to make oneself above the the laws while subjecting others to them.

An other thing to keep in mind about Status is that it's an economy. Spend too much, you go broke, spend to little and the system freezes. It's better to be hollow tube than a begger or a fat cat. You'll gain more power by using the system than you will be not using the system because those who keep the flow of influence moving are the ones who control the direction it moves in.

Basic Actions

Status and privilege are a matter of social standing and this will change frequently, sometimes nightly. Meteoric rises and epic falls are less frequent, but they do occur. Status is an expression of opinion. It's not fair, it's not fact and it's not truth. It's pure, subjective opinion. While you can Praise someone for good acts, it may put you at a disadvantage if they are the enemy or an enemy of your coterie. However, if you recently pissed the Prince off, it might be good to play nice and support the Prince's praise of someone that you've scorned in the past.

The degree of your opinion of someone should be expressed with the numerical value. Keep in mind that these actions can range from noble to completely selfish and petty. Also feel free to lie, to support your friends, and to disagree. The status system is meant to simulate everything from official accolades for bravery to snakry comments about fashion. You may be scorned or praised unreasonably, but if you are keep in mind that the person who scorned or praised you is also subject to scorn or praise. Someone throws you shade? You and your friends should throw it back. Like I said, it's not fair, it's not nice, and it doesn't have to be true. That's right. You can lie. You can make shit up. You can plant dirt and get people in trouble via scorn, but make sure you don't get caught, otherwise, the Prince may scorn you as well.

The +influence/action buffer is considered IC information. Anything listed there is known to the entire court. Please feel free to agree with/praise or disagree with/scorn actions listed there. If your coterie member gets praised, praise them, if they threw you under the bus in the process? Scorn! You want clan Tremere to gain more power in the sect? Start talking up the chantry. Remember, vampires want more power for a variety of reasons. Regardless of the motivations the only way you are going to get it is by playing the game.

Action Minimum Rank Command Minimum Maximum Description
Coup Anyone 0 0 Attempt to go up a Status Level.
Use this command when you've accumulated enough status to go up in rank. Ranks confer additional powers.
Praise Neonate 1 0 Award Influence to <player>.
Scorn Neonate 1 0 Subtract Influence from <player>
This is the command you will use the most. Praise/scorn means you approve/disapprove of someone's IC actions.

Boons

The world of vampires has a currency just like any other, but vampires are not generally that impressed with cold hard cash. They deal in something a bit more complicated, boons. A boon is like a debt. You do someone a favor, and if they acknowledge that you helped them out, they now owe you a boon. Sounds pretty simple, but nothing in the world of darkness is ever simple when you take everything into account.

Acknowledging and Breaking the Oath
A boon isn’t owed just when you take it upon yourself to declare it. Someone has to actually do something by choice in order for a boon to be acknowledged or denied. Generally if there is a disagreement about the standing or value of a particular boon the Prince is called to adjudicate. Most boons and their price are arranged ahead of time with a value for service set then. Once a bargin is struck, both vampire acknowledge the exchange of the boon.

For example, Kim the Nosferatu gives some minor blackmail on the Tremere primogen to LeFey, the Toreador Primogen. Kim arranges with LeFey that in exchange for this tidbit of dirt, LeFey will support Kim's ambitions ambitions in court for the next year. From an OOC level, LeFey is obligated to praise Kim's actions and support Kim's usage of status by offering praise or scorn in line with Kim. Once a year has passed, LeFey is no longer obligated to support Kim, but may do so of her own free will. If LeFey chooses to consistently oppose Kim, then Kim can scorn LeFey for not fufilling her end of the agreement and LeFey stands to loose substantial status. On the other hand, if Kim's information turns out to be bogus, then Kim has violated the agreement and will likely loose status.

In the same example, maybe Kim wants to learn Auspex. Instead of trading political clout, LeFey agrees to teach Kim Auspex in exchange for the information.

If a vampire becomes known as untrustworthy or an oath breaker, the court may allow others to ignore their debt to him later. (And it becomes very hard to trade in boons in any event.) One thing to remember is that boons must be paid off because the social order demands it. If a Prince doesn’t enforce boons, then the people who owe him boons might not have to pay him off, and he isn’t going to tolerate that. However, if the boon isn’t formally acknowledged, the social order will not force the boon to be paid off, it’s as simple as that. Of course, some principled vampires will repay their debt just because they choose to honor the system of protestation, but it’s not a good idea to rely on principle in this harsh world.

Boons are a good way to organize vampires politically either for yourself or against others. In the Camarilla you will not be rewarded for being generous of kind. Whenever anyone asks you to do anything make sure it's recorded and paid for with a boon. If it isn't then the Prince will be unable to adjudicate it and probably give you both a smack for not following protocol.

Action Minimum Rank Command Minimum Maximum Description
Minor Boon Ancilla 6 30 Grant <player> a Minor Boon.
If another person inconveniences himself on your behalf, giving up part of a limited resource, then a minor boon is appropriate. A minor boon is still generally paid off with one action. Examples: sharing information about the Jyhad, loaning sums of money (Res 3 or lower) allowing someone to use your haven for a period of time, guaranteeing his or her safety in a domain you already control, instructing another in a discipline, which is common, like Auspex, Dominate, or Presence.
Major Elder 31 270 Grant <player> a Major Boon.
A major boon is owed when the person sacrificed greatly of his time or resources, and subjected himself to a certain amount of risk. Examples: loaning large sums of money (Res 3+), sharing important, vital or hard to come by information, teaching the other hidden lore (Spirit, Mage, Sabbat) or how to perform an uncommon discipline (Thaumaturgy, Quietus, Dementation.)

Advance Actions

Below are petitions that can only be made by the most powerful vampires in a city. The granting of ghouls, Domain or Progeny to lesser vampires would be unthinkable under most circumstances.

Action Minimum Rank Command Minimum Maximum Description
Ghoul Elder 90 180 Request permission to create a Human ghoul.
Creating a ghoul is a breach of the Masq. To even consider doing so, one must have a certain degree of respect that you can handle the responsiblity. Some make ghouls in secret or out of disrespect for the Prince. A Prince can of course choose to retaliate at any time when he or she "discovers" the breach.
Domain Elder 90 270 Request a domain of your own.
The tradition of Domain grants a well respected vampire the power of domain over a particular area of the city. This is prized because it not only grants the vampire exclusive feeding rights over a particular area but also the ability to manage which vampires are allowed to operate mortal proxies in that area. This power is a great generator of boons.
Deny Elder 90 810 Deny a Request. Must equal the Request cost.
Denies a particular petition such as a boon, ghouling or domain.
Progeny Primogen 270 540 Request permission to create a Childe
The right to make other vampires is second only to Domain, as it allows the sire to create a brood of powerful pawns to use in the Jyhad. Princes hold this power tightly.
Position Prince 0 0 Grant <player> a Position in the Camarilla.
Accept Prince 1 5 Welcome <player> to the City.
The right of hospitality is the age old province of the Prince. This power acknowledges a vampire's official standing in the Camarilla. With out it you are an anarch at best…
Blood Prince 270 810 Request a Blood Hunt on <player>
The eternal punishment where a vampire has committed a crime so henious that only the true death can stand for punishments. Only the Prince may decide who lives and dies in the Domain.