As a V:tM (V20) game master, I tried to explain to my players what the differences are between all the vampires sects, so they can choose what kind of campaign they want. Here is what I said:

The Camarilla is a sect that thinks that vampires have to hide from humans to survive, but controls them so it's simpler for vampires to hide. They have a very vertical organization, and age is a quality as valuable as acts.

The Anarchs are officially part of the Camarilla, but only officially. The main difference is that age is not a quality for them. Camarilla see them at best as teenagers, and at worst as Sabbaties that have not taken the plunge. And somehow the truth is between those examples.

The Sabbat is a bestial inquisition. They track the Antediluvians to kill them and prevent the end of the world. For them, humans are just food, and vampires that act like them are weak.

The Tal'Mae'Rah is a mysterious sect that want to awake the Antediluvians and make the end of the world happen.

I don't present to them the Inconnu because they play neonate, or at best ancillae.

But I feel like I forgot something to present to them. So here is my question:

Did I present the sects right, or did I miss something? If so, what did I miss? How can I present them properly?


1 Answer 1


The basic traits are there but the Sabbat description strikes me as a bit biased from a Camarilla point of view. The descriptions might all gain from a bit of nuance and additional fluff. How much so depends entirely on the type of campaign you plan to run and the level of understanding of the clans and sects that you'll allow the characters to have.

For example, almost all Camarilla Neonates are oblivious of the existence of the Antediluvians and even if they have heard of them it will likely be as nothing other than (for lack of a better description) 'scary bedtime stories'. The Tal'Mae'Ra is a very obscure group that does everything they can (and has it within their power) to keep others from learning (more) about them. Basically, everyone (outside of their direct connections) who knows about them is a threat and will be dealt with as such.

I know it can be tough for new players to make decisions based on their understanding of the sects or clans. It's easy to form a very biased opinion due to a lack of understanding of the deeper reasoning and politics of a sect. But as a GM you may not always want to give them access to too much info and it could even be fun to let them go in with a preconceived notion of what their, or another, sect is like. It almost always turns out to be completely false, which can lead to fun story arcs and character development.

If they are playing Neonates as you said, your descriptions could very well represent the limit of their understanding of the sects. It'll all depend on what their Sire chooses to tell them or what they manage to gather on their own.

I can start typing up an overview of sect structures and inter/intra sect politics, but that would be a tedious read. There is so much reference material available that you can drown yourself, and especially new players, in it. That is why I always send my new players over to The Gentleman Gamer YouTube channel. This has videos by Mathew Dawkins, who actually works on VTM V5 as a writer these days. He has an amazing understanding of the WoD and is able to very clearly convey all the important aspects. If you want to further develop your players' knowledge, I highly recommend to have them check it out.

You'll find his Vampire stuff here

And this one specifically covers choosing Camarilla, Sabbat or Anarchs.

To address your comment;

Some bias is okay and you are free to make them into what you want them to be for your campaign.

The Sabbat is a Sect but it is structured completely different compared to the Camarilla. It mostly consists of Packs (parties) of likeminded individuals who share goals, preferences or have other commonalities that bind them together. A pack can exist of Cainites (Kindred is a Camarilla term) from various clans as opposed to the more by-clan focused division of Kindred within the Camarilla. The Sabbat are, in general, much less fearful of their elders, who in turn are much less controlling than their Camarilla counterparts. Another major difference is that members of Sabbat packs will undergo a rite called Vinculum. It is meant to bond the pack members as 'brothers in arms' and protects them from being blood bound to others.

Although some Sabbat do indeed chase the Antediluvians, many are not dedicated to that specific cause. Knowledge of the Antediluvians is shared more freely within the Sabbat, but the Camarilla keep a tight lid on it. Their Neonates are unlikely to know anything specific and will be actively manipulated into believing they're not real.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for your point of view, and for giving me those videos. I upvote because your answer is usefull, but you don't answer to the entire question. 1)I think i'm a little bit biased for the Sabbat, because for me it's hard to understand what it is. So I try to say factual. Maybe I could tell that they are like a religious brotherhood and not an inquisition. 2)For me, neonate could think that Antediluvians are not just scary bedtime story because they are neonates! Not so long ago, they were mortals and vampire were scary bedtime story too. So why Antediluvians would not be real too? \$\endgroup\$
    – Rorp
    May 10, 2019 at 14:17
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I've edited my answer, perhaps it will give you the insight you're looking for. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bob
    May 10, 2019 at 15:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok, now you answered all the question. Thank you very much. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rorp
    May 10, 2019 at 16:34

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