Status and Prestation
Status within Vampiric society expresses how much an individual is feared and respected.
For the Vampire: SangFroid game status is measured on a scale of 0 to 5. Characters begin play with a single point of Status (modified by Merits and Flaws as appropriate) and will gain or lose Status in play through actions and ST directed experience rewards. Each point of status has an adjective associated with it to indicate why the character gained it. Any appropriate adjective may be used.
Characters can also accumulate negative status, which may eventually cause their status to drop. Negative status is awarded through the actions of PCs, especially the Harpy and Lesser Harpies. As rumours spread throughout the court the opinions of its members about the subject of the rumour ebb and flow. It is always easier to lose status than to obtain more.
When a character gains negative status equal to one greater than their current status they will permanently lose a point of Status which must be repurchased (only through the ST directed awards). While a character has a negative status they are treated as having one less status for each point of negative status. Negative status is removed at a rate of one per month, is awarded at the beginning of the session after the STs have determined it is valid and may be renewed by the usual character poll.
Characters are also awarded effective levels of Status for holding certain positions within the court, reflecting the powers and respect associated with those positions. Status bonuses from positions cannot take the total Status of a character above 5 and is removed if the positions is lost.
|Ruler|| 2 (Venerated, August)|
|Enforcer|| 1 (Feared)|
|Investigator|| 1 (Revered)|
|Harpy|| 1 (Influential)|
|Adviser|| 1 (Valued)|
|Keeper of Elysium|| 1 (Esteemed)|
Status indicates how much a kindred’s word is regarded in the court. As such its primary use is when matters of opinion are being considered. These matters can be categorized as either social or judicial. Social opinion affects the opinions of the court, i.e. status. Judicial opinions alter the outcomes of legal decisions by the ruler. The secondary effect of status is the expected behaviour of court members toward each other. Those with higher status must be shown respect in public or the offender’s reputation may suffer.
When a Kindred under the Prince’s hospitality (temporary or indefinite) is accused of committing a crime their accuser must present themself before the court and, using the influence of their status, issue the accusation. The accuser is most often the court Investigator, but it need not be and any kindred with standing may accuse another in this manner. Once the accusation is issued all members of the court have th opportunity to lend their support to either the accusation or acquittal of the accused. In the case of a judicial poll this support is made publically using the weight of their status. Once each kindred present has chosen to support, counter or abstain in the accusation the Ruler gets the final opportunity to state their word on the matter. Usually the side which gathers the most Status to support it will win with the accused being acquitted or punished accordingly. The Ruler may however disregard the will of the court and make the decision themself butt doing so significantly harms their standing with the court - a permanent Status point is required to be spent in order to do so. One should not continually disregard the important members of one’s court if one wishes to continue to rule.
For those who backed the losing side of teh accusation a negative status trait is gained as the efficacy of their standing falls under question. Although abstinence seems like the safest course in these matters, influential members of the court may occasionally be censured by rumour or the Ruler if their influence is never used.
When a kindred’s behaviour is judged inappropriate by a member of the court that member may issue a rumour sanctioning that Kindred. Inappropriate behaviour (besides breaking the Ruler’s laws which is dealt with via Judicial Poll) consists primarily of disrespect to those with greater status or ignoring prestation (performance of something due upon an obligation). Prestation is generally in the form of reciprocal favours between Kindred. These favours form a major part of Vampiric society and are usually considered extremely important. Although rarely referred to precisely as listed below favours (known as “boons” amongst many Kindred) are generally regarded as being of various degrees of obligation. These favours may be traded between Kindred and although there is no requirement many Kindred prefer to inform the Harpy (or a harpy) that they have been exchanged in order to ensure that a Kindred who reneges upon them is known to be untrustworthy.
Initiating a rumour does not require a challenge, however if a listener wishes to determine the original source they may make a Wits + Politics roll against the initiator’s Intelligence + Politics (rolled with the ST when the rumour is created). If the initiator wishes to blame another for the rumour the roll is also compared to their Manipulation + Politics (also rolled when the rumour is created). Success versus the misplaced blame does not automatically reveal the origin unless it also beats the difficulty to do so. Rumours need not always impact status.
Once a rumour that potentially influences status has been initiated and passed to the Harpy they should speak with each member of the court to discover their opinion upon the matter. As with the Judicial poll each attending court member is theoretically able to support, deny or abstain from comment on the rumour and support for the losing side grants a negative Status (including the target or instigator of the rumour). Unlike bringing a judicial poll initiating a Social Poll is anonymous. The Harpies alone collect and count the status, assigning negative status once the Poll is complete. Those who support the winning side are not usually advertised. This can lead to a Harpy altering the result to one they prefer but it comes with dangers - it caught they will not only certainly lose their position but may well lose status.
The system for determining whether a poll was fixed is a Wits + Politics challenge against the Harpy’s Manipulation + Politics + 8 (due to the difficulty of keeping track of a large number of opinions). Of course even if caught a Harpy fixing a poll may only end up owing a boon (usually a large one).
|Boon||General Exchange rate|| Usual Negative Status gained if broken|
|Trivial||-|| 1 (Petty)|
|Minor||3 Trivial|| 1 (untrustworthy)|
|Major||3 Minor|| 2 (Untrustworthy, Dishonest)|
|Blood||3 Major|| 3 (Untrustworthy, Dishonest, Faithless)
||Life||3 Blood|| 4 (Untrustworthy, Dishonest, Faithless, Treacherous)|
Examples of inappropriate behaviour:
Cowardice (may be excused as strategy)
Lateness attending someone of higher status.
Interrupting/talking over someone of higher status.
Insults, intended or otherwise.
Allowing an insult to stand unchallenged.
Failure to use titles.
Refusing a reasonable request.
Ridicule of someone of higher status.
Pushing in front of someone of higher status.
Not getting out of the way of someone of higher status.
Challenging the word of someone of higher status.
Ignoring someone of higher status.
Not standing when someone of higher status enters the area.
Not removing headwear when speaking to someone of higher standing.
Not bowing to someone of higher standing (not very common now).
Insisting upon unnecessary formality.
Some of these obviously contradict each other, and that is where the politics comes in.
back to Main Page
back to System