Diplomatic Relations

There are many kindred, of course, who are less privileged in terms of breeding than ourselves. Towards those of the Camarilla, we should remember the tradition of 'Noblesse Oblige', that those who are more privileged have a Duty to see to the welfare of those who are not. If we are their leaders by right and by ability, still it behooves us to remember that they fall within our care. Forget this and you are lost.

The absolutely worst thing about leadership is the calibre of staff you end up with - but you still unfortunately have to put up with them.

Is it any wonder it takes so long to get anything done? And as if that wasn't enough there are the knights... use them with care! But never suffer a dedicated slayer to live beyond usefulness.

First, be forewarned that these rules are not hard and fast. They are in fact rather soft and slow. Not everyone will react the same way to being manipulated (or out-and-out ordered) to do stuff. Get to know the person you are manipulating. This does not necessarily mean being friendly with them: that may in fact be counter-productive if they themselves are manipulative people. Find out about them from a variety of third-person sources. And don't limit yourself to sources you trust. Sometimes you might hear something that will be useful, even if it isn't entirely true. Never underestimate the power of the Rumor, young Ventrue. Never.

Second, _cover your ass_. If (when) something goes wrong, have a way out. Hopefully several. We didn't get to our position by letting neonates make us look bad---not to mention the damage that could be done to your own reputation.

Without further ado, let's get the little stuff out of the way first.


Easy as pie. Dominate, condition, use Presence, do whatever you want, it's hard to go wrong with these worms. But don't get overconfident. You still have to have that back door available. Not only is it a bad habit to get into, leaving yourself open, but if something does go wrong, it's usually gone badly wrong and you have Ye Olde Inquisition or a gang of wolves on your tail. Don't sweat blood over the cattle, but be careful. They have this nasty habit of stampeding...

OK, now on to real people.

The Nosferatu.

Don't knock them. Ever. Not even in the privacy of your own Haven. Never. Do I sound a little paranoid? Listen, when you're dealing with the Nosferatu, there are two kinds of paranoia: total and insufficient. If you have _ever_ said anything about them, like "rat-face" or "useless sewer-crawlers" even when you were asleep, you better not be counting on them for anything.

That said, there is only one way to manipulate a Nosferatu and it's very simple. Ask what the Nosferatu wants, and then give it to them. If you have never crossed them, they won't cross you first. It's called trust. You may have heard of it once or twice.

Let me tell you something else. It's possible to betray the Nosferatus' trust and get away with it. It's just very, very hard. They stick together. They have something called "clan unity". You may have heard of that once or twice too, probably from a Tremere. No, we don't go in for that sort of thing either.

So how do you go about screwing a Nosferatu pawn who has served their usefulness? Do it indirectly, and be vociferous in your defense of the guy. Insist that what happened to him (social ostracism works far too well, as does yanking material possessions or herd members) was a real injustice and that you offer your sympathy to them. But no help.

Nothing they can do about it, and they still love you. You can do this over and over and over again if you're good enough. But on the other hand, if you have to read this to figure out how to do it, you aren't good enough. Better just go with the "trust" theory.

The Gangrel.

The Gangrel are difficult to manipulate, not because of any traditions or problems we have with them, it's just that they themselves are so overtly unmanipulative that any attempts to pussyfoot around the subject feels out of place in a conversation with them.

The way to manipulate a Gangrel is to lay everything on the line, or to present the impression that you have. The problem lies in attempting to give them the impression that you have told them everything you know about a situation when in fact you have left out several vital facts. If you lie to a Gangrel, lie with confidence and remember, always remember that back door. Nasty things, with big friends sometimes.

The Malkavians.

The first thing to understand about the Malkavians is that they are crazy.

The second thing to understand about the Malkavians is that they are not stupid.

Do not patronize them. Do not pretend to see things that you don't, trying to play along. They will know you are lying and react poorly to you. Many say there is no way to manipulate a Malkavian. This is not the case. Malkavians are often lost and childlike. If they put their trust in you, you can tell them to do almost anything, and they will try. How, you ask, can you get that trust? I don't have a single clue. But if you get it, use it before it goes away, or just accept it this once and let it slide, hoping that it might come back.

Others believe themselves to be as mercenary as the Giovanni- pay them off in tinfoil and bits of string (Don't forget to bargain with them. Illusions are very important to the Malkavians. Heck, let them prank you once or twice, if it's nothing violent. Laugh it up, or get really incensed over it, whichever they expect.)

If you get a Malkavian in a state where you think they might do something you want, consider what you want them to do. You wouldn't send a Toreador to clean out a nest of Sabbat. You'd send some Gangrel and maybe a Tremere. Just the same, you wouldn't send a Malkavian to do something like receive a visiting elder or take a message to the Justicar. Think back to all your plans that went awry because of Malkavians. What did they do? What they do best---spread chaos, mayhem and madness. Siccing a Malkavian on a plot is the easiest, simplest and surest way of complicating it and introducing elements that the plotter(s) probably didn't think of.

The Brujah.

Don't snort. Shut up. You think you're above that rabble? Shut up. You don't know shit. Brujah are fast and tough and make _excellent_ pawns. You've got a few options with them, too:

1. If you can manage it, get rumors circulating that performing action X would seriously hork off the Prince or other elder (even the Brujah elder ironically enough.) Wait for nature to take it's course. The disadvantage to this is that it may take a while, and in many instances (the above- mentioned Sabbat nest), it just wouldn't make sense and would probably put attention on the wrong person (you) anyway. Hope you had that back door ready.

2. Be straight with them. Don't be ingratiating, don't try to get into their good graces (they haven't got any). If you have the power to do so, offer them small concessions. It doesn't matter how small they are---it only matters that you _act_ like they are large. They don't really want anything from us except to see us squirm. So squirm. Who cares what they think?

The Toreador.

Believe it or not, this may be the hardest clan to consistently manipulate. Why? Well, first of all, their only hook is art. There's really no way you can _use_ that hook to reel them in. They're probably so entrenched in the local art scene that even if you held 200 poets captive and threatened to off them all, the Toreador would probably just turn up their noses and denounce them as "passe". What's more, they often resent the fact that while they are "clearly" the finest Kindred around, while they are out carousing and having a good time, we are getting things done. Sorry, but I don't have anything really substantive to say about the Toreador except the best way to deal with them is to _sit_ on that rumor mill and _listen_ to what's going on. Reputation is everything to them, so if you can get a stranglehold on one of _those_, you've got a pawn for unlife.

The Cappadocian.

The Cappadocian Vampires are somewhat of fanatics. Obsessed with the secrets of life, death and what lies beyond, the cappadocians will stop at nothing to achieve their goal of knowledge. This makes manipulating them easy, they will do anything for the right bit of knowledge or strange new corpse to play with.

Many of our kindred look down on the Cappadocian for their morbid actions and ignore them. But this means they are grateful for any help from us, and will do anything for even the smallest scrap. Though I warn you not to rely on them, they are too easily distracted by their obsessions.

The Ventrue.

Totally unmanipulatable.

Trust me.