CriticalFumble.net Forums  

Go Back   CriticalFumble.net Forums > Play-by-Post Games > Immortal Desires

Immortal Desires Detritus's GURPS World of Darkness PbP game.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-21-2008, 10:12 AM
Detritus's Avatar
Detritus Detritus is offline
Trade-Bot 5000, the Prime Mover
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: A slough of despond
Posts: 14,681
Detritus has a reputation beyond reputeDetritus has a reputation beyond reputeDetritus has a reputation beyond reputeDetritus has a reputation beyond reputeDetritus has a reputation beyond reputeDetritus has a reputation beyond reputeDetritus has a reputation beyond reputeDetritus has a reputation beyond reputeDetritus has a reputation beyond reputeDetritus has a reputation beyond reputeDetritus has a reputation beyond repute
Default On Kindred society: Prestation and boons

Since the topic has a good chance of looming large over the remainder of the adventure, here is some explication of the subject. Prestation is the social system that forms the basis of the Camarilla.

Prestation is unique among vampire social compacts in that the other sects all rely on some degree of mysticism or myth to hold their society together, but prestation is an entirely social phenomenon.

At its most fundamental level, prestation seems like the most obvious, sensible, and benign of concepts. The whole essence of prestation can be summed up in a single sentence; "Any service or favor must be reciprocated with a proportionate favor or service." However, once filtered through the fundamental perversity of vampiric nature, prestation becomes a thing of Byzantine complexity and terrible power.

When a vampire receives a service or boon from another, prestation places him in the debt of the giver. This puts the giver in a position of dominance over the receiver, until the receiver can balance the ledger by repaying the favor.

As a class, vampires love dominating others, but bitterly hate being in a position of submission. Nonetheless, they submit under the dictates of prestation because the alternative is the contempt of their peers. Vampires very often do not mind being hated, and usually enjoy being feared, but they cannot bear to be held in contempt. Noxious as they find the idea of any sort of submission, honorable submission is preferable to being despised.

Once a debt is incurred, the vampire owed can "call it in" at any time, asking any theoretically proportionate service he wishes to name. However, there is no real deadline to do so. Much of the time a vampire will simply hold the debt over his debtors, never demanding anything in return except that they remember they are in his debt. Of course, if such vampires do manage to deliver some proportionate service -- whether asked for or not -- prestation requires that the former bestower acknowledge that the debt has been erased.

If a vampire is in another's debt, he must treat that other with all courtesy. Putting an elder or superior in your debt is particularly sweet, because you are then entitled by prestation to treat that elder with a familiarity far beyond that of your peers (the exact degree of informality is, of course, dependent upon the relative Status of the vampires in the equation and the degree of service performed). Prestation cannot permit one to disobey an elder or a superior, but it does entitle one to a greater degree of familiarity, which can be used as a path to power.

Almost any act which involves another Kindred in any way can potentially have profound consequences in terms of prestation. Skills which may be used to accurately evaluate a given act's prestation repercussions include Politics (Camarilla), Diplomacy, and Savoir-Faire.

There is no formal code of prestation, but it has at least two rules which are unwritten but nonetheless absolute:

It is a great dishonor to insult or threaten in any way a vampire to whom you are indebted, or who is indebted to you. It is this aspect of prestation that actually holds the Camarilla together. If a vampire insults, threatens, or endangers any other that he owes, or that owes him, the disrespectful one immediately loses respect in the eyes of the whole vampire community. Furthermore, if one vampire in a bond of prestation violates the honor of that bond, the other, by ancient right, is entitled to engage him in a fight to Final Death, through combat, magic, or intrigue. Thus prestation is enforced by the two things vampires fear most, contempt of their peers and the end of their existence. Minor vampires abide by prestation because they do not wish to lose their lives, great vampires because they cannot afford to lose the respect of their subordinates and peers.

A vampire can never be forced to go to Final Death in payment for prestation. There is a limit to the demands of prestation, and this is it. No matter how great the debt incurred, the debtor can never be forced to end his own existence. Of course, the Kindred are masters of intrigue, and in reality prestation is often used to send some unwitting victim of some plot or plan off to his doom... but it is absolutely essential that the plotter at least preserve the illusion that both the debtor and the vampire being repaid thought that there was a reasonable chance of survival -- accidents do happen, after all.

If prestation is the system, then boons are the currency of that system. Whenever a vampire incurs a debt to another, that vampire is said to owe a boon to his benefactor. Like prestation, there is no formal code for boons, but the following can serve as an informal scale by which to judge the magnitude of boons:

1. Trivial boon - Delivery, helping with a plan. Unsolicited information.

2. Minor boon - Helping carry out a plan. Important advice. Solicited information. Hosting a social gathering.

3. Moderate boon - Aiding in battle. Helping the other out of trouble.

4. Major boon - Direct intervention in a very dangerous situation. Saving the life of the Vampire's immediate kin.

5. Life boon - Saving the life of the other Kindred.

If a boon indirectly helps other Kindred besides the one that receives it, then these other Kindred may also be indebted to the giver, albeit to a lesser degree than the one upon whom the boon was bestowed. This web of penumbral indebtedness can have far-reaching effects, as you might imagine, and is the foundation for civilized Kindred society, such that it is.
__________________
Hast thou seen my anointed, TEBOW?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-21-2008, 10:31 AM
Detritus's Avatar
Detritus Detritus is offline
Trade-Bot 5000, the Prime Mover
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: A slough of despond
Posts: 14,681
Detritus has a reputation beyond reputeDetritus has a reputation beyond reputeDetritus has a reputation beyond reputeDetritus has a reputation beyond reputeDetritus has a reputation beyond reputeDetritus has a reputation beyond reputeDetritus has a reputation beyond reputeDetritus has a reputation beyond reputeDetritus has a reputation beyond reputeDetritus has a reputation beyond reputeDetritus has a reputation beyond repute
Default

In terms of who amongst the PCs would understand what about Prestation, this is how I see it:

Leo - Since he has points in all three skills named in the above post, he pretty much knows it cold. Of the PCs, he's the one who best knows just how serious the situation following Jocelin's outburst is.

Menachem - Has points in Diplomacy, and so would be able to recognize a breach in etiquette serious enough to incur prestation-type indebtedness, but he would be a little hazy as to how it might fit in to the larger Kindred political structure.

Jack and Jocelin - Neither has any points in the relevant skills, so they probably have only heard of prestation, and know that the Camarilla (and the elders in particular) set great store by it.
__________________
Hast thou seen my anointed, TEBOW?
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-21-2008, 05:37 PM
SD Anderson's Avatar
SD Anderson SD Anderson is offline
Bona fide Fumbler
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 5,570
SD Anderson is a name known to allSD Anderson is a name known to allSD Anderson is a name known to allSD Anderson is a name known to allSD Anderson is a name known to allSD Anderson is a name known to all
Default

Jack knows you pay your debts. You can do that without knowing which hand a fork goes into at dinner time.
__________________
Gravity never makes suggestions. It always issues orders.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-21-2008, 05:47 PM
Detritus's Avatar
Detritus Detritus is offline
Trade-Bot 5000, the Prime Mover
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: A slough of despond
Posts: 14,681
Detritus has a reputation beyond reputeDetritus has a reputation beyond reputeDetritus has a reputation beyond reputeDetritus has a reputation beyond reputeDetritus has a reputation beyond reputeDetritus has a reputation beyond reputeDetritus has a reputation beyond reputeDetritus has a reputation beyond reputeDetritus has a reputation beyond reputeDetritus has a reputation beyond reputeDetritus has a reputation beyond repute
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SD Anderson View Post
Jack knows you pay your debts. You can do that without knowing which hand a fork goes into at dinner time.
Sure, and for that matter, I'm sure that Jocelin understands this as well.

Would either of them realize precisely how indebted they are to the Tremere for their help in cleaning the mess after Jocelin's frenzy, though? Will they know how precarious the Justicar's position with respect to Samantha is now because of prestation? Probably not, unless they make some Politics rolls at their default level.
__________________
Hast thou seen my anointed, TEBOW?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-22-2008, 10:27 AM
Huxley
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

So I'm guessing this'll be in the "moderate boon", possibly "major boon" range?
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-22-2008, 08:37 PM
Detritus's Avatar
Detritus Detritus is offline
Trade-Bot 5000, the Prime Mover
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: A slough of despond
Posts: 14,681
Detritus has a reputation beyond reputeDetritus has a reputation beyond reputeDetritus has a reputation beyond reputeDetritus has a reputation beyond reputeDetritus has a reputation beyond reputeDetritus has a reputation beyond reputeDetritus has a reputation beyond reputeDetritus has a reputation beyond reputeDetritus has a reputation beyond reputeDetritus has a reputation beyond reputeDetritus has a reputation beyond repute
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Huxley View Post
So I'm guessing this'll be in the "moderate boon", possibly "major boon" range?
Helping to repair/prevent a Masquerade breach definitely falls squarely in the major boon range. Normally it would push into the 4.5 range on the 5-point scale above, because there really isn't much besides saving a Kindred's life that ranks above getting a Kindred out of a Masquerade violation jam, but given that the mortals involved had at least some association with the Prince, even if they didn't know about it, knocks it down half a point or so.

There will be a lecture forthcoming, and soon.
__________________
Hast thou seen my anointed, TEBOW?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-22-2008, 10:28 PM
Huxley
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Detritus View Post
Helping to repair/prevent a Masquerade breach definitely falls squarely in the major boon range. Normally it would push into the 4.5 range on the 5-point scale above, because there really isn't much besides saving a Kindred's life that ranks above getting a Kindred out of a Masquerade violation jam, but given that the mortals involved had at least some association with the Prince, even if they didn't know about it, knocks it down half a point or so.

There will be a lecture forthcoming, and soon.
Hey, I had to try .
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-23-2008, 04:19 AM
Detritus's Avatar
Detritus Detritus is offline
Trade-Bot 5000, the Prime Mover
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: A slough of despond
Posts: 14,681
Detritus has a reputation beyond reputeDetritus has a reputation beyond reputeDetritus has a reputation beyond reputeDetritus has a reputation beyond reputeDetritus has a reputation beyond reputeDetritus has a reputation beyond reputeDetritus has a reputation beyond reputeDetritus has a reputation beyond reputeDetritus has a reputation beyond reputeDetritus has a reputation beyond reputeDetritus has a reputation beyond repute
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Huxley View Post
Hey, I had to try .
Yeah, sure.

Meanwhile, there's about to be some hot, hot action...
__________________
Hast thou seen my anointed, TEBOW?
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:00 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright on all original post text belongs to the poster.