Beginners Guide to playing Sabbat
From The Sabbat of OWbN
Welcome to the Sabbat, you have been recruited, joined, or were embraced into a very complicated sect of Cainites. The first and most important question you should always ask yourself before you even start playing is “Why are you in the Sabbat?”, nothing else is as important as knowing the answer to this. Once you have the reason, then you will know where you will fit within the sect and at least for the time being where you are going. The Sabbat as a whole may look like a bunch of unclean diablerising swine, but you would be quite mistaken. These are some of the most complicated individuals that you would ever meet, they have a part to play and they all have a story to tell, just like you.
You are more than the sum of your character sheet and combat is not the only reason to play a Sabbat vampire. Try to look beyond being some excuse to be a monster that lost touch with their humanity. The subtle or not so subtle engine of politics pervades the sect from all angles and at the same time has a deep and rich history of varying religious points of view deeply enmeshed within it. The various factions within the sect are almost like a sect within a sect at times that crisscross many lines on clan, politics, religion, military, and paths of enlightenment all at once. Just like in the real world, no two will see it the same way and both will think they are right in their interpretation of things, which just makes for great roleplaying in general. You have many choices to make and as you make them others will close off to you as you navigate through these dark nights. Making choices as you roleplay are what you will constantly be confronted with and fence sitting will get you nowhere.
For you, your chosen path of enlightenment is a starting point as to how you will be viewing the world and your interactions with others of the sect. Try not to just look at a path as a list of what to do and what not to do. It is the foundation and pinnacle of you being. A path of enlightenment will help you to survive nightly more than many other things within the sect. It is one of the most over looked parts of being a member of the Sabbat, something taken for granted. A path is not simply an excuse to do inhumane things, it is a whole new way of thinking. Your Path is a road map to where you are going and what you will become. Yes, a good portion of new Sabbat still hold on to their Humanity, but eventually some find a path, but this again may not be for everyone and their character concept.
To go hand in hand with your path of enlightenment are your virtues, they will help to bring stability to your character. Sure, most will tend to pass these off as something to work on at a later date with the growth of the character, but in the Sabbat they are what keep you from being perceived as weak. Knowing your beast and how to guide it or control it are important. Nothing is worse than being confronted at the worst time that you will run from a little fire or an insult that stings so hard you lose it and attack your verbal opponent. Everyone wants cool stuff, but sometimes it is better to be more firmly grounded in some basic areas in order to be more effective later.
Religion and politics are mixed together and thrown at you from all sides, much like what happens in some countries. The Sabbat as a whole is overseen by the clergy who guide and hand out justice much like any government. With this come all the other problems, intrigue, and curiosities that any governing body has, which are sometimes either very clandestine or brutally apparent. Who you ally, or make deals with will more than likely earn you an enemy or two whether you like it or not. You will have to join in the dogma of sacred rituals daily to survive and be trusted within not only the sect, but your pack as well. The political arena is a dangerous and ever mutating in what is acceptable and what is not. One night you could be cock-of-the-walk and the next, gutter trash fit to be hauled down to your final death over something completely made up. Even how a ritual is done in one place is not quite the same as in another. The same can be said about justice within the sect. Nothing about the Sabbat is black and white really.
Your pack will ultimately be either you greatest asset of your greatest weakness. Getting into, or forming a pack is of great import. Being on your own in the Sabbat is dangerous and will likely lead to more problems than you can handle on your own, no matter who is an ally or friend, the packless are usually sided against by the majority for various reasons of the real or not.
Finally, the clan your character comes from is important to a degree in only as to if you may already have rivals, allies or outright enemies from within your own clan or another. I must stress it is all how deeply involved you want to become in all of this.
The amount of roleplay is up to you as the individual and what level of interaction you are comfortable with. Maybe your character starts out as a simple frontline soldier who follows orders? Maybe it is an investigator of the strange? Maybe you are the Priest who leads in Ritae, is always about spiritual enlightenment discussions and maybe even looks to create some new Ritus for their pack and the sect? Maybe you are puppet master of sorts who wants to be at the forefront of the political machine? Whatever the reasoning is just stop worrying about the cool stuff on the sheet, go have fun being in a mystic, war-like sect that has issues inside and out.
Part of the Sabbat Genre Guide