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Anatomy of Failed Design: Vampire
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

virgil wrote:
Quote:
A starting vampire of the right clan can literally mind-wipe people.
Note that qualifier of "right clan." There are entire clans who don't intrinsically have mind-wipe powers.


The White Wolf vampires aren't nearly powerful enough and most of them don't have the powers they would need to survive for a month, let alone become members of centuries long conspiracy.

Quote:
The chart (Fig. 1) shows that the conspiracy is less likely to be exposed as the constituents die out, not more.

That makes a lot of sociological assumptions that simply do not apply to immortal non-humans. It's debateable whether they actually apply to humans, since shit like the Tuskegee Experiment blundered along for 40 fucking years, publishing its work in medical journals with hundreds if not thousands of people aware of what was going on without anyone stopping the conspiracy or telling the victims what was going on. And even then, whistle blowers raised hell for seven years before newspapers actually started running with the thing. If Tuskegee University had been willing to shoot dissenters in the face, the conspiracy might still be secret today. In any case, waiting for vampires to have a change of heart and decide to go public because they see the error of their ways and want to make amends before they die could be a really long wait.

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Presumably with the Memphis's "sweet spot" being 1:10k, having about ~800 in New York City or the DFW-Metroplex is also fine?


Very large metroplexes like New York and Los Angeles should probably be multiple domains. There will be enough supernatural activity that you can support multiple groups who have territorial disputes and shit. That makes for good drama.

-Frank
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virgil
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The Tuskegee Experiment was explicitly cited and served as one of the data points, including the fact it took years before a whistle-blower actually stuck. As for whether vampires would ever want to go public, the idea is hardly foreign, even before accounting vampire hunters. As you said before, it's not like there aren't mortals involved in some ratio larger than the vampire population, and their population definitely has some flux.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

There should be powers and traits that all vampires have by default.

*Enhanced physical abilities
*Enhanced senses (including being able to freaking see in darkness)
*Drinking blood
*Something to do with sunlight (if not necessarily burned, then perhaps just weakened).
*Clouding Memories
*Some bat based powers (turning into a bat by default, maybe also controlling swarms of bats.)

Anything else that should be added?
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Mechalich
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Demographics is going to play out across a range. The 1 in 10,000 and 1 in 100,000 numbers are useful because the variance between them is a single order of magnitude. It is extremely likely that the overall number varies by that much. So even if the global number is, for the sake of argument, 1 in 25,000, you'll have plenty of places where you'll hit the 1 in 10,000 number and also plenty where it drops down to 1 in 100,000.

There are any number of areas with large human populations that are quite hostile to vampires and will keep the numbers down. Really obvious example: Pyongyang. There's 2.5 million people (estimated) living there and the overall metro is probably larger, but living in a dictatorial hell-hole where the state controls every aspect of your life is an extremely dangerous business for a vampire so the number who live there is going to be very low. It's easy to think of plenty of other reasons as well. High-altitude cities (Kathmandu, La Paz, etc.) may host fewer vampires because feeding is more troublesome. The same is probably true of any city dominated ruthlessly by whatever other supernatural factions you happen to have, like the Bay Area being flooded with technomancers.

By contrast, luxurious and wealthy but violence prone metros are going to be very attractive to vampires. So pretty much anywhere in Brazil, resorts in the Carribean, and probably the entirety of the former USSR are all highly appealing.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I don't think those powers should be ubiquitous, but I do think they should be part of a generic powers list and only specific clans don't have them. I'm also not sure if turning into a bat should be on the list, and quite positive that supernatural charm/mesmerism should be. Nosferatu can specifically not have that, and you might also want, to let clans with particularly awesome powers pay for it by lacking super strength, speed, durability, senses, etc. etc.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:

There should be powers and traits that all vampires have by default.


Well, every vampire needs a method to feed. It doesn't need to all be memory manipulation, some of them can steal your blood through the wind like some African vampires. Or whatever.

The White Wolf concept that there were different flavors of Vampire and those vampires had different powers was totally fucking awesome. It set the imagination on fire and really grabbed us by the pussy. Unfortunately V:tM didn't go nearly far enough: they never sat down and said "how the fuckity fuck sticks are Gangrel supposed to feed themselves?"

Each of the groups of Vampires can and should be different. You can have bat vampires and snake vampires and spider vampires and breath stealing vampires and so on and so forth. But all of them need to be able to hide and to feed. It's totally not acceptable to have punk ass fuckers like the Brujah who can't even.

Another idea that needs to die in a fire is the idea of linear blood. The amount of blood you get from drinking from a wound is very tiny - measured in fractions of an ml. But getting blood by the pint is not particularly difficult. If getting an order of magnitude more blood gives you an order of magnitude more power, then the game is prima facia broken because fuckers will do exactly that.

-Frank
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Which, for what it is worth, White Wolf tried to address at various points by introducing various alternate feeding mechanics at different points and by trying to introduce the "blood point" as an in-game concept. Neither of which really worked, because they got a lot of pushback (on the mechanics - people thought not drinking blood straight from the two-legged, breathing tap was cheating) and it was never particularly embraced in the fluff. A lot of the alternate feeding mechanics - oWoD had drinking from animals, dead humans, ghosts, alchemically-created vitae, magic beer, flesh; nWoD had drinking breath, ghosts, bone marrow, using their voice, etc. - just weren't utilized by enough of the characters in the game to make a damn difference.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The whole alternate feeding systems were always dangled away as things for characters to aspire to. Even in Requiem you could get the blood multiplication power out of the Ordo Dracul, but it was something you had to buy three dots of advanced sorcery to get. The problem is that all of that is fucking bullshit. Players need to have a method to survive night to night from their very first night. Dangling out alternate feeding schedules for higher tier schedules is completely nonfunctional. Characters need a viable feeding system. All of them. No exceptions.

But really the whole blood points thing has to go die in a fire. It's very evocative and shit, but the harsh reality is that there just isn't a way to track linear amounts of blood in a way that isn't fucking bullshit. When I take blood from someone to do some testing, I usually take about five milliliters. And that's a reasonable amount of blood to get out when you bit someone on the arm or leg. But the entire human body has over five thousand milliliters in it. So if you wanna talk about a sensuous bite or an intimate vampire kiss or some fucking thing but you also have people in your game who can do some fucking math and have just killed some mooks, you have to deal with blood piles that differ in size by three orders of magnitude.

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Actual quantities of blood just can't factor into this. At all. Feeding just can't work like that, or anything remotely like that. You want people to drink blood, but the blood drinking has to be effectively symbolic or everything falls apart.

-Frank
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Mechalich
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
Actual quantities of blood just can't factor into this. At all. Feeding just can't work like that, or anything remotely like that. You want people to drink blood, but the blood drinking has to be effectively symbolic or everything falls apart.


It sounds like it would be better to have something in the vein of how Laundry-verse PHANGS conduct feeding, where the actual act of drinking the blood is merely symbolic way to establish a link between the internal magical parasites that allow the vampire to exist and the life energy of the victim. Now, in the Laundry-verse that's inevitably fatal in a short time, which we don't want, but I think the general mechanism of blood feeding as a vector rather than the actual fuel is workable.
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virgil
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 12:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:
Actual quantities of blood just can't factor into this. At all. Feeding just can't work like that, or anything remotely like that. You want people to drink blood, but the blood drinking has to be effectively symbolic or everything falls apart.
However, a decent number of people want to get more out of draining someone dry rather than just lapping up bloody nose. You could have it be an exponential thing for blood from the same source in a single night/week/whatever, one unit of satiation from a nip, two units for making them woozy, and three units if you kill them.
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Chamomile
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 3:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

You could also make it harder to get more blood points once you already have so many. A quick nip on the neck will give you what you need for night-to-night purposes but if you want to spend seven blood points before your next meal without going into a thirst frenzy you are going to need several gallons.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 6:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Virgil wrote:
However, a decent number of people want to get more out of draining someone dry rather than just lapping up bloody nose. You could have it be an exponential thing for blood from the same source in a single night/week/whatever, one unit of satiation from a nip, two units for making them woozy, and three units if you kill them.


The basic feeding has to be similar to the basic blood draw - a fundamentally trivial amount of blood that doesn't have much in the way of longterm consequences. Taking amounts of blood that are injurious, dangerous, or fatal can and probably should give you a temporary powerup. You could call such things "blood rush."

But the nightly feeding requirements can't be deadly or even dangerous because there are over three hundred nights every fucking year and the total murder rate for Tennessee is less than 1 per sixteen thousand people and "Vampire Attack" can't be all or even most of that number. Vampires killing one person every five fucking years is actually extremely high, and would make vampires responsible for about 1 murder in 3.

From a story and gameplay perspective though, people are going to want to drain victims down to unconsciousness and have the Popeye music play. That's entirely reasonable. But you don't need a lot of granularity in Bloodrush. Two or three levels of Blood Rush for taking too much blood or way too much blood from someone is actually fine.

-Frank
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Blicero
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:
Virgil wrote:
However, a decent number of people want to get more out of draining someone dry rather than just lapping up bloody nose. You could have it be an exponential thing for blood from the same source in a single night/week/whatever, one unit of satiation from a nip, two units for making them woozy, and three units if you kill them.


The basic feeding has to be similar to the basic blood draw - a fundamentally trivial amount of blood that doesn't have much in the way of longterm consequences. Taking amounts of blood that are injurious, dangerous, or fatal can and probably should give you a temporary powerup. You could call such things "blood rush."

But the nightly feeding requirements can't be deadly or even dangerous because there are over three hundred nights every fucking year and the total murder rate for Tennessee is less than 1 per sixteen thousand people and "Vampire Attack" can't be all or even most of that number. Vampires killing one person every five fucking years is actually extremely high, and would make vampires responsible for about 1 murder in 3.

From a story and gameplay perspective though, people are going to want to drain victims down to unconsciousness and have the Popeye music play. That's entirely reasonable. But you don't need a lot of granularity in Bloodrush. Two or three levels of Blood Rush for taking too much blood or way too much blood from someone is actually fine.

-Frank


Is this sort of thing something you would want to put in the proposed After Sundown 2e? Or would this level of detail privilege vampires over other supernatural types?
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Blicero wrote:
Is this sort of thing something you would want to put in the proposed After Sundown 2e? Or would this level of detail privilege vampires over other supernatural types?


Yes. The Feeding schedule was of course originally based on Vampire: the Masquerade, but that was a bad idea. Every type should get what is essentially a normal refresh and a thing they can do for powerups. For Feeding, that is obvious. Lunar schedule can be simply that you get supercharged on full moon nights, and Ritual schedules need a little bit more to flesh them out.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 1:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The basic concept that each of the Clans had for feeding was fine, they just didn't work for PCs without very specialized builds and campaigns.

For example, Gangrel are supposed to turn into wolves and maul people. The Masquerade is preserved because getting attacked by stray animals is something people can really wrap their heads around and in the World of Darkness the police and park services are Dominated by a couple of Camarilla guys in town to always pin the crime on stray dogs. The world at large just thinks that stray dog attacks are really common.

The issue is that this is never explicit for players because the game system is shit. Gangrel aren't forced to invest 4 Dots in Protean and skills in Stealth and fighting skills in order to participate in the stray dog hoax.

By the same token, Ventrue aren't forced to buy up Herd and Resources, Malkavians aren't forced to drink from people too crazy to be believed, Brujah aren't forced to wander the earth on bikes killing random drifters and burning the bodies, etc, etc., etc.

The World of Darkness is supposed to be terrible because one vampire really can personally Dominate the ten people in a major city that are in charge of any investigations about why everything is terrible.


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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

K wrote:
Gangrel aren't forced to invest 4 Dots in Protean and skills in Stealth and fighting skills in order to participate in the stray dog hoax.


It's well beyond not being forced to get 4 dots of Protean. As a starting Vampire you can't have 4 dots in Protean. You only start with 3. So while you could imagine a horrible world where there were a small amount of vampires that turned into wolves and mauled people every night, the World of Darkness vampires can't be those vampires becuase turning into a wolf is something to aspire to as a higher level character.

K wrote:
By the same token, Ventrue aren't forced to buy up Herd and Resources, Malkavians aren't forced to drink from people too crazy to be believed, Brujah aren't forced to wander the earth on bikes killing random drifters and burning the bodies, etc, etc., etc.


Again, it's not that they aren't forced to do this, it's that actually doing this is straining the limits of character abilities to do that at all. Any clan that has dominate can feed, but only in the sense that they have three dots of starting disciplines and if you put all three of them into Dominate you have cloud memory and you can feed. Vampires aren't super strong or super charming or anything without getting disciplines that do that. And each individual vampire doesn't even get three disciplines, they get three fifths of a discipline.

Most presented character concepts simply have no means of surviving night to night. Let alone surviving night to night in such a manner that they can keep the authorities from finding out that they are eating people.

K wrote:
The World of Darkness is supposed to be terrible because one vampire really can personally Dominate the ten people in a major city that are in charge of any investigations about why everything is terrible.


The problem is that that really isn't supported. Firstly because vampires in Masquerade are horrendously underpowered and can't actually do that, but also because you're supposed to get vampire politics and bloodline snobbery and shit - and that requires way more vampires in any particular area than can be supported on a diet of animal attacks and burned hobos.

The lone serial killer model just doesn't work. It gets us Vampire: the Requiem, with all the associated lack of giving a shit about vampire society. Fundamentally you have to be killing very people during routine feeding - much less than one per year - so that the concentration of vampires can be high enough that you can have waifish sycophants lounging on the couch while you go talk to important vampires. And you desperately need that, because nWoD style bumfights over nothing are hot garbage and no one wants to play that shit.

-Frank
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:

It's well beyond not being forced to get 4 dots of Protean. As a starting Vampire you can't have 4 dots in Protean. You only start with 3.


Well, sort of. You get 3 dots of Disciplines, yeah, but you also get a pile of spendable XP at the end of the chargen process, and you can totally spend those points on more Disciplines. And you do, because going from 3 to 5 dots in Dominate (or even Protean) is usually omgwtfbbq better than whatever else you could buy.

Also, if you're a Sabbat, you just get 4 dots of Disciplines for no god damned reason.

Also also, if you're playing with Flaws you can take exactly enough of those to allow you to buy another dot of Disciplines and so obviously you do that, too.

But ... I mean, these nitpicks aside, the basic point remains relevant. The bonus XP you get at the end of chargen should be for stuff to personalize your character; it should not be "and now you need to spend this on some very specific things in order to function as a Vampire at all."
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
The lone serial killer model just doesn't work. It gets us Vampire: the Requiem, with all the associated lack of giving a shit about vampire society. Fundamentally you have to be killing very people during routine feeding - much less than one per year - so that the concentration of vampires can be high enough that you can have waifish sycophants lounging on the couch while you go talk to important vampires. And you desperately need that, because nWoD style bumfights over nothing are hot garbage and no one wants to play that shit.


I was never all that clear on how the conflicts in Requiem were pointless? Can you elaborate?
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Wiseman wrote:

I was never all that clear on how the conflicts in Requiem were pointless? Can you elaborate?


We had a thread that was mostly about exactly that.

Me wrote:
But a lot more of it is just scaling things down so that it's just about you and your city block or some shit. Like literally the Crips want to move in on Myrtle and Montgomery to drive your drugs off the market with their shipment of cheap Peruvian. But you know what? I don't fucking care! If the antagonists can't be classified as right or wrong and the shit they want does not - in the larger picture - make any fucking difference, why are we fighting again? How about instead of risking our immortality on some gray scale conflict that specifically doesn't mean two shits - we just don't do that. Fucking walk away. Because you can. It's like fighting in Iraq: there's nothing to win so you should just leave.


Me wrote:
But remember kids, vampires don't secretly control the world in nWoD, so the political posturing in the two groups that you can do that in at all is pretty much like running for Homecoming King in Junior High. Seriously, advancing to the top of the local Invictus chapter just gives you the keys to the company car, you could get farther ahead by spending an equal amount of time working law in night courts and using your vampire powers to win cases and get financial bonuses. Then you know, buy a car.


I wish I was kidding when I said that getting high up in the Invictus let your borrow the company car - but that's actually what you get for attaining the rank of Harpy.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Just jumping in on this real quick, more ranting to come later, but...

FrankTrollman wrote:


Actual quantities of blood just can't factor into this. At all. Feeding just can't work like that, or anything remotely like that. You want people to drink blood, but the blood drinking has to be effectively symbolic or everything falls apart.

-Frank


Would symbolism be a bad thing? If vampires are supposed to be metaphorical, is it wrong to have metaphorical vampires? I mean, if we look at the myth that inspired Mark*Rein Hagen's VTM... Cain became a vampire after killing Adam. Did God curse Cain with vampirism after-the-fact, or was it the very act of taking a life that made / marked him as a 'vampire'? Is it necessary to physically die to become a 'vampire', or is a moral / spiritual death all that one requires?

The first murderer was the first vampire. Woah. That's kinda brilliant (if somewhat obvious when you think about) symbolism.

But then WW completely abandoned that symbolism by literally requiring the vampires to drink blood. The act of 'blood drinking' could have / should have been symbolic - the entire idea of "going for the throat" is symbolic, not just sexually but, y'know, the whole predator-prey thing.

I'm going to go out on a limb and blame WW for the reason we have Twilight , True Blood, and Vampire Diaries, and all these other female wish-fulfillment books and shows.

By removing vampires from the act of murder they neutered them. Worse still, they made the act of blood drinking a positive thing for the recipient. When a vampire drinks your blood in VTM, it is "pleasurable, euphoric, ecstatic" etc. They call it "the Kiss" which is not what Anne Rice's vampires did, judging by the movies it looked pretty painful. (I've yet to read Dracula and Varney and Ruthven and Carmilla, but soon...)

And then there's the whole, "if you drink a vampires blood you become super human" i.e. 'ghouling'. So what's the downside to hanging out with vampires? You let them drink from you and its better than sex, and when you drink from them you get a fraction of their power. Sounds like a win-win. And they have no incentive to kill you because why would they? A free meal that doesn't resist or put up a fight, that wants to keep you their secret. I guess that after a while you get hooked on vamp blood and are dazed and stupefied like a druggie, but c'mon...

It is no wonder that vampires lost their terror aspect. No wonder WW struggles with selling the whole "horror" angle.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

AC0 wrote:
Would symbolism be a bad thing? If vampires are supposed to be metaphorical, is it wrong to have metaphorical vampires?


No. It isn't wrong at all.

Drinking blood in movies and books is usually a sensuous and messy affair. But however many ml of blood you can get out of licking a cut on someone's neck, you can get several liters of blood out of people if you drain them in a systematic way. When I use a needle and a syringe to draw some blood out of an arm vein, I'm usually taking about 5 ml - and that's pretty similar to what you get if you like bit a dude or something. The whole body has like five thousand ml, and with a systematic drainage system you can get almost all of it. If we're going to maintain the idea that we are even remotely attempting to support different "kinds" of vampires, it's a complete non-starter for science vampires to get more than a hundred times as much blood from their victims as romantic vampires or wilderness hobo vampires.

Now going the full symbolism vampirism is a thing that has been tried before. Shadowrun vampires drink a completely tiny and symbolic amount of blood in order to permanently drain some spiritual essence from their victim. Which is fine. It means that you got romantic vampires and ambush monster vampires and it doesn't particularly matter if they are "clued in" to the wonders of hypodermic needles and cannulation. Of course, the very fact that I used the word "permanent" over there means that Vampires in Shadowrun are not supported keeping blood dolls or servants around for any particular length of time - a vampire can only feed from a single victim five times in total in Shadowrun before they have to convert them into a vampire or kill them.

But you could easily imagine a situation where you had an amount of time between when you could safely feed from a person to create an acceptable "herd size" for a vampire that rotated their drinking targets and which gave some larger benefit if you wanted to drain people into weakness and larger benefit still if you wanted to drain people to injury or death so that you would have in-world support for the kinds of vampires that cause problems and leave town or straight up villain vampires who leave a trail of bodies in their wake.

Adjusting the numbers would of course require that you decide how large the herds you wanted, which ties into what kinds of demographics you're looking for in terms of total numbers of vampires and total numbers of victims. But that is of course exactly the kind of population math that White Wolf never bothered even beginning to attempt.

Quote:
I'm going to go out on a limb and blame WW for the reason we have Twilight , True Blood, and Vampire Diaries, and all these other female wish-fulfillment books and shows.


Nah. We have Twilight for the same reason we have Masquerade. Stephenie Meyer never read any vampire fiction, it's why she wasn't actually sure what happened to vampires who got into the sun and we ended up with fucking sparkles. Vampires have been an important part of romance novels since Anne Rice brought them into the mainstream in 1976. But of course Vampires have been deeply associated with sexuality and romance since the 19th century.

Quote:
By removing vampires from the act of murder they neutered them.


I would not agree with that. Vampires can represent sickness or the dangers of intimacy without strictly being murderers and can definitely do so without always being murderers.
Dracula is quite obviously capable of feeding without killing anyone. That he chooses to kill people anyway is a core part of how you know he is ultimately the villain.

-Frank
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

ArmorClassZero wrote:
It is no wonder that vampires lost their terror aspect. No wonder WW struggles with selling the whole "horror" angle.


In part, but surely part of the problem is that people want to be vampires? Difficult to have them be a source of horror and desirable at the same time. There's the tortured monster thing, but that's more emo than horror, usually.
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nockermensch
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:
But the nightly feeding requirements can't be deadly or even dangerous because there are over three hundred nights every fucking year and the total murder rate for Tennessee is less than 1 per sixteen thousand people and "Vampire Attack" can't be all or even most of that number. Vampires killing one person every five fucking years is actually extremely high, and would make vampires responsible for about 1 murder in 3.


Frank's vampires

Vampires with a society complex enough to have political infighting and realistic murder rates are two things that can't coexist, but in this case I actually prefer vampire fiction happening in a bleaker version of Earth where Brazil's murder rate is the baseline and people just accept it (Brazilians just accept it, so it can be done). A world with supernatural monsters simply has to be a lot more violent and hopeless than you first worlders are used to -- A "World of Darkness", if you will.

It sucks (no pun), but it's better than Vampires who don't do anything.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
Vampires with a society complex enough to have political infighting and realistic murder rates are two things that can't coexist, but in this case I actually prefer vampire fiction happening in a bleaker version of Earth where Brazil's murder rate is the baseline and people just accept it (Brazilians just accept it, so it can be done). A world with supernatural monsters simply has to be a lot more violent and hopeless than you first worlders are used to -- A "World of Darkness", if you will.


There are two issues as regards fatalities. The first is the number of vampires a city can have at one time, and the second is just how long a vampire can stay in one place without having things become ridiculous. I submit that if you kill one person per night you would have beaten the record of La Bestia in one fucking year and that is completely ridiculous.

There are just a lot of nights in a year. Three hundred and sixty five. And serial killers of the world tend to top out at around three hundred bodies. And even those people tend to take like a decade of activity to get there. The most prolific serial killer ever was one of the Thuggee dudes, and even he would be eclipsed in just three fucking years if you bumped someone off every night.

Obviously a Vampire has to feed off a person every night, or at least most nights. If they aren't doing that, they aren't really vampires, and are basically the Pirates Who Don't Do Anything that you're complaining about. But equally obviously the majority of those feedings have to be non-fatal because racking up over thirty six thousand kills in a hundred years is completely incompatible with the sort of retail personally threatening figure that a vampire is supposed to be. And once you've allowed for the possibility of non-fatal feeding, the only question is how much do you have to rotate your crops to keep from killing anyone?

What kind of world you want to build will dictate what kinds of herd sizes are workable for a vampire. The more vampires you want and the less thoroughly the vampires permeate normal society, the smaller a herd has to be. A vampire who can rotate their victims every three or four days can basically be the domineering patriarch of a suburban home; while a vampire that can only feed on a particular victim safely twice per year is the terror of a neighborhood or apartment block. The larger the herds the more vampires need to fight over territory and risk discovery. The smaller the herds, the more intimate relationships with slaves can be.

My personal preference would be for vampires who could do light feeding to stay alive on a victim once per week, with a strenuous and empowering feeding safely once per month. That would lead to herd sizes of 7-10 minimum and 40-50 maximum. That seems like a good number that you could imagine political intriguing about without making the "vampire slave" demographic so large that politicians have to worry about them as a significant interest group.

In any case, nightly feeding has to be more akin to rape, drug dealing, or pimping than to serial murder.

-Frank
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saithorthepyro
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:
Quote:
Vampires with a society complex enough to have political infighting and realistic murder rates are two things that can't coexist, but in this case I actually prefer vampire fiction happening in a bleaker version of Earth where Brazil's murder rate is the baseline and people just accept it (Brazilians just accept it, so it can be done). A world with supernatural monsters simply has to be a lot more violent and hopeless than you first worlders are used to -- A "World of Darkness", if you will.


There are two issues as regards fatalities. The first is the number of vampires a city can have at one time, and the second is just how long a vampire can stay in one place without having things become ridiculous. I submit that if you kill one person per night you would have beaten the record of La Bestia in one fucking year and that is completely ridiculous.

There are just a lot of nights in a year. Three hundred and sixty five. And serial killers of the world tend to top out at around three hundred bodies. And even those people tend to take like a decade of activity to get there. The most prolific serial killer ever was one of the Thuggee dudes, and even he would be eclipsed in just three fucking years if you bumped someone off every night.

Obviously a Vampire has to feed off a person every night, or at least most nights. If they aren't doing that, they aren't really vampires, and are basically the Pirates Who Don't Do Anything that you're complaining about. But equally obviously the majority of those feedings have to be non-fatal because racking up over thirty six thousand kills in a hundred years is completely incompatible with the sort of retail personally threatening figure that a vampire is supposed to be. And once you've allowed for the possibility of non-fatal feeding, the only question is how much do you have to rotate your crops to keep from killing anyone?

What kind of world you want to build will dictate what kinds of herd sizes are workable for a vampire. The more vampires you want and the less thoroughly the vampires permeate normal society, the smaller a herd has to be. A vampire who can rotate their victims every three or four days can basically be the domineering patriarch of a suburban home; while a vampire that can only feed on a particular victim safely twice per year is the terror of a neighborhood or apartment block. The larger the herds the more vampires need to fight over territory and risk discovery. The smaller the herds, the more intimate relationships with slaves can be.

My personal preference would be for vampires who could do light feeding to stay alive on a victim once per week, with a strenuous and empowering feeding safely once per month. That would lead to herd sizes of 7-10 minimum and 40-50 maximum. That seems like a good number that you could imagine political intriguing about without making the "vampire slave" demographic so large that politicians have to worry about them as a significant interest group.

In any case, nightly feeding has to be more akin to rape, drug dealing, or pimping than to serial murder.

-Frank


Well, the thing is does a vampire have to feed/kill once a night? Dracula from both the books and movies didn't drink every single night, and times when he mass drank/killed was when he was trying to collect power. Killing the crew of the Demeter could have just been gathering power for his overseas adventures in England. Outside of that he doesn't seem to need to drink very often, same with his brides. At least not one every night. That does lead to The Pirates who don't do anything, but maybe once a week? Or rather make it a rather small amount to survive, but more frequent drinking increases the abilities of the vampire?


Last edited by saithorthepyro on Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:35 pm; edited 2 times in total
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