Here we are going to discuss Blood Bonds & Vaulderie and the impact it has on roleplaying in the channels.
The mechanics are fairly easy. To represent a bond to someone on your sheet: “!bonded (character) (other person)” will do it and the bot will set the date and such because that is important. Depending upon factors such as age and generation, the bonding factors of the ingested vitae stay in your system for only so long.
You can only have one true bond at a time, but may also have many overlapping other bonds. Even the true bond may fade if not reinforced now and then. All bonds are broken upon death, so a person who was Blood Bonded and then Embraced may find their view changing suddenly as the feeling shatters.
How a person reacts to the bond depends on two factors: treatment, and nature. Humans/Ghouls who are mistreated may suffer Sanity loss, and do something terribly drastic. Vampires (and some Ghouls/Revenants) may not appear so affected on the surface, but the Beast remembers such things and has been known to break the chains of the Bond. Nature tempers the Bond as well. Caregivers may dote on the one they are bonded to, a Child becomes even more dependent, but a Cynic or a Monster will have very different ways of expressing these feelings. If it were all butterflies and floating hearts, it’d be too easy to spot a Blood Bonded person.
Stage 1: Familiarity. Kinship. Nothing serious, and not uncommon. Some Princes even require this to remain in their city, though the practice has diminished somewhat in modern nights. People get this level trading disciplines, or the occasional one night stand. Some clans even have a reputation (*coughs* Toreador *coughs*) for being promiscuous with their vitae. The Regent gets a -1 difficulty in social rolls (non-discipline) against the Thrall.
Stage 2: Connected. More serious. Not detrimental, but the Thrall is far more inclined to listen than they might normally be. This may be mutual as well, and if there is a true bond in place (including vaulderie), this is the level all other bonds stop at and there is no limit to how many a person may have. Dominate can be used on the Thrall by voice alone at this stage, and all social rolls (non-discipline) against them are made at a -2 difficulty.
Stage 3: Truly Bonded. If this is to a single individual, it is akin to being in love. There are certainly darker aspects and that falls largely under how the Thrall/Regent relationship dynamic is roleplayed. If this bond is not reinforced, it will eventually fade. Not seeing the person for long periods of time, not drinking their blood will weaken the bond, especially if there has been some mistreatment involved. Being kind to one’s Thralls, at least in their presence, is a sure way to keep them bound forever. If the Character has participated in Vaulderie, then that ritual takes the place of the True Bond and spreads the effects out over those involved. But the character can still have multiple Stage 2 bonds, just like with the True Bond to a single individual.
Vaulderie works a little differently, and as previously mentioned, automatically takes the place of a true bond. The participants in the ritual all become bound to each other to varying degrees, which shifts each time the ritual is performed again. However, even at its weakest connection, it still provides the same type of connection as a true blood bond. This protect the Pack from outside influences more easily, and assists in calming or staying instincts that would otherwise drive them to tear each other apart. It also assists in keeping the Pack connected over distance, and if a Vaulderie tie is severed, the others are instantly aware of it. You may be friends even outside of the ratings influence, or frenemies as the case may be… but in the heat of battle, instinct tends to side with blood.
You can set up your Character’s Vaulderie with “!vaulderie (character) (other person x9)” and the bot will assign a random rating each time that the command is used. So you may have a 8 to a person one time and then a 3 the next. You can see what your Vaulderie scores are by using “!view vaulderie (character)”
Rating 1-2: We all have one of these in the group. The cousin your mom makes you play with… or the guy that everybody just kinda tolerates hanging around. He can be kinda cool sometimes, but you might not do him any favors if mom doesn’t make you.
Rating 3-4: Coworkers or school buddies. You have no qualms chilling out with these guys, doing stuff after work. They might not know the real you, but they’re alright. You’d loan them money if you had it to spare.
Rating 5-6: You’d help them move. People you tend to hang out with on a regular basis. People you’ve drunk dialed and poured out your soul too. Good friends.
Rating 7-8: You’d scrounge up bail money and testify on their behalf. You’d beat the crap outta someone for them, slash tires… and if it was in your nature, kill to protect them or donate an organ to them.
Rating 9-10: You would kill for this person even if it was against your nature normally. You’d die in their place gladly, and your happiness is somewhat dependent upon theirs. If they aren’t happy, you aren’t happy.
Breaking the Bonds: Not an easy feat. There is a Thaumaturgy ritual for breaking a regular blood bond, but not the Vinculum. Mages can disrupt a Stage 1 or Stage 2 Blood Bond with Mind 3, or a Stage 3 Bond with Mind 4. Vinculum is far more complex, and requires Mind 5 and Prime 3, and unlike a regular Blood Bond, breaking Vinculum tells everyone that had ties to that person that it is broken. Some people might have… questions.