Tashiro (tashiro) wrote in roleplayers,

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I remember having a conversation about vampires (specifically from V:tM and V:tR), and the discussion about the emotional capacity of the Kindred.  One involved someone playing the game, and the other involved someone GMing it.  Both involved the same rule mentioned in the books:  A vampire doesn't feel emotions, they feel the echoes of emotions.  The best way I could understand it is that a current experience is associated with an earlier event in the vampire's life, and the emotion of that event is echoed to the current experience.  If the vampire has not felt an emotion, they can't echo it -- it doesn't exist for them.

This was fine for my V:tM character -- he had encountered a full range of emotions during his mortal life time, including absolute hatred, brotherly love and loyalty, and the yearning to be free and live and love.  All those good, primal emotions which served him well when he was embraced into the Gangrel.  Made him a pretty fierce person, and worked well when he became the companion to a Toreador over the centuries.

When I discussed this idea with a player, they objected.  Seriously objected.  'That's not how vampires work!' I was told.  He explained that vampires are tragic figures, watching the world spin off ahead of them, aching to be a part of it, etc, etc, etc.  This guy, apparently, was very much in the Louis camp of vampires.  (Personally, I'm in the Gabrielle camp, Lestat's mother is an awesome Gangrel.)  Just recently, someone else mentioned that vampires should be monsters -- they're only playable once they hit Humanity 0 (!) and are free of anything like 'morality'.

The second time I encountered this was with a V:tR game master.  I built my character -- a monster hunter for the Ordo Dracul who investigates strangeness then 'deals' with it for them.  This guy's mortal life saw a lot of hopping from military base to military base, and his mother was the only person he actually cared about -- he'd never established bonds with anyone else.  This lack of social contact made him a pretty 'down to basics' type of vampire -- someone who goes out, gets the job done.  He had a sense of humour and a smart-aleck attitude because this is what he'd picked up on the various bases he lived on.  It also meant he was incapable of romantic love, and ... that somehow bothered the game master.  She had designed the Prince and the Prince's daughter to be following a forbidden Coil of the Ordo Dracul tied to the character's Humanity, and had some plan of having the daughter try to seduce the character to her way of thinking.  The campaign never even started, which was a bit of a shame, but she also couldn't comprehend the idea of 'echoes'.

What's your take on it?  I think the concept is good, simply because it helps emphasize that vampires aren't human anymore, and never will be human.  They're predators, and can mimic humanity to an extent, but it is mostly an 'act' or an echo of what they might have once been.  For me, part of roleplaying is the experience of making something that is 'other' and trying to get into that headspace.

Elves for example.  I can't comprehend the idea of an elf as a 'pointy-eared leaf-eating human'.  For me, they can't be human.  Their world-view is alien to something that only lives a fifth or an eight of their life span.  An elf is someone who doesn't normally comprehend 'hurry'.  Life might be plotted out over decades or centuries, or an elf may not even be able to hold onto memories that long, and lives mostly in the 'now', treating everything as transitory, leaving only nature as anything of importance because it is a constant.

I can understand players not wanting to delve into this kind of thing with their own characters, but I find it a bit surprising when they object strenuously to someone else looking into this (or roleplaying with this in consideration).    I'm even more bemused when something like this is laid out in the rulebooks and a player sees it and protests against it -- I had one player object to Werewolf: the Forsaken because the werewolves there weren't 'noble savages' (ala W:tA) but were more beasts struggling to survive and prone to bouts of violence and loss of control.

Anyone have their own stories along this vein?
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