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[V:tM] Vampire intrigue and politics: things to *do* against your enemies

Random Goblin

Esquire
Validated User
So I am thinking about vampires scheming against each other in the modern world, specifically in the context of V:tM but any other comparable fanged setting works as well. Specifically, I am working on a list of generic ways to strike against your enemies. We all know that vampires scheme and plot against each other, but what does that look like translated into action? What are all these scheming vampires actually doing (or having their minions do for them).

One category I can think of is disrupting each others' power bases, i.e., doing things to destabilize and destroy the places where your enemies have their power. Discredit the politicians they have in their pocket. Create bad or embarrassing PR for the company they control. Flood the streets with drug product they don't control to weaken their underworld contacts. These kinds of things can range from the subtle to the overt (burn down the club they use as the locus of their social activity). What other ideas here?

Another category is trying to maneuver your enemies into compromising or embarrassing situations. Trick their minions into doing something stupid. Position them so they incur an inconvenient boon or social debt they have to repay but don't want to. Start a whisper campaign against them among the other vampires. Trick them into breaching the masquerade, or, if you can't, breach it yourself (or have it breached) and frame them for doing it. What other ideas here?

A third category is striking at the things they love or care about. People they are obsessed with, places they are attached to, etc. Any thoughts here?

Anything else?

Also, it's worth asking, did WW or OPP ever publish something that goes into this kind of stuff specifically/concretely and in detail? They may have and I just missed it. It seems like the kind of thing that might have come out as a late-era V:tM (pre-nWoD) sourcebook.
 

Shadowjack

Cartoon Poet
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Fourth category: Pushing the boundaries of your own rights and privileges (which compels others to oppose, ignore, or acknowledge). No one said you couldn't collect from the East Side, so now you are; others have to decide if it's worth the effort of saying you can't, or going along with it, or taking advantage of the same loophole somewhere else and piously pointing out that you are, so what's the problem? Another variant of this is making a big show of caring about agreements or regulations or loyalty displays, in such a way that others feel compelled to play along, or stand out as troublemakers by refusing. And then, of course, there's the classic trick of resurrecting some old lawsuit or perennial argument or bit of procedure. This can be a drain on others' business, but if done right, there's nothing they can specifically complain about, because it's all according to the agreed-upon rules and theoretically you're in the right for bringing it up.

Fifth category: Doing favors – whether for other vampires, or for useful mortals – in expectation of favors later. Building up networks and power base. Trade, business, building infrastructure.
 

Arethusa

Sophipygian
RPGnet Member
Validated User
This sounds like a job for Stephen Potter’s Gamesmanship books.

I mean yeah, they’re technically old fashioned British humor (from an old school Punch author, no less), but they are also a brilliant dissection of subtle and not so subtle ways to make psychological warfare on people. This is the guy who invented the term “One-Upmanship,” after all.
 

Random Goblin

Esquire
Validated User
Fourth category: Pushing the boundaries of your own rights and privileges (which compels others to oppose, ignore, or acknowledge). No one said you couldn't collect from the East Side, so now you are; others have to decide if it's worth the effort of saying you can't, or going along with it, or taking advantage of the same loophole somewhere else and piously pointing out that you are, so what's the problem? Another variant of this is making a big show of caring about agreements or regulations or loyalty displays, in such a way that others feel compelled to play along, or stand out as troublemakers by refusing. And then, of course, there's the classic trick of resurrecting some old lawsuit or perennial argument or bit of procedure. This can be a drain on others' business, but if done right, there's nothing they can specifically complain about, because it's all according to the agreed-upon rules and theoretically you're in the right for bringing it up.

Fifth category: Doing favors – whether for other vampires, or for useful mortals – in expectation of favors later. Building up networks and power base. Trade, business, building infrastructure.
Oh, thanks. I hadn't thought about category four as a way to move against your enemies, but I'm sure your enemies would see it as such! And the fifth category is related to the second (and the fourth!) but distinct enough to be worth talking about in a different way. Favors are power. Doing favors for vampires (and mortals) obligates favors in return, and that goes just as well for doing favors for third parties (expanding your own power base) as it is doing favors for your enemies (and indebting them to you, which they will hate), or, better yet, doing favors for your enemies' minions (and significantly reducing their ability to move against you).
 

Matt-M-McElroy

What Are You Afraid Of?
Validated User
Also, it's worth asking, did WW or OPP ever publish something that goes into this kind of stuff specifically/concretely and in detail? They may have and I just missed it. It seems like the kind of thing that might have come out as a late-era V:tM (pre-nWoD) sourcebook.
Gilded Cage is the book that goes into this stuff the most, but Midnight Siege might be worth a look as well.

M
 

Vladimir Bananas

Cosmomonkey
Validated User
Extension to category three: provide support and protection to dissidents/troublemakers in their domain: letting them use your domain as a safe haven, providing resources or intelligence, etc. Bonus points awarded if the troublemakers don’t know who their benefactor is.
 

Random Goblin

Esquire
Validated User
Extension to category three: provide support and protection to dissidents/troublemakers in their domain: letting them use your domain as a safe haven, providing resources or intelligence, etc. Bonus points awarded if the troublemakers don’t know who their benefactor is.
Oh yeah, that's great. Like Cold War-era proxy war shenanigans but on a neighborhood scale. And definitely applicable to both categories one and three.
 

Vladimir Bananas

Cosmomonkey
Validated User
Actually I just thought of an extension to the extension- if there are no troublemakers or dissidents, try to create some through social engineering operations. For example, if there are vampires of your own bloodline in their territory, take their side in long-standing disputes or decide you need to protect them.
 
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