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VtM: Sabbat Positions Explained

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VtM: Sabbat Positions Explained

Post  Storyteller on Sat Apr 23, 2011 6:41 pm

The Cardinal

What Archbishops are to cities, Cardinals are for states and whole countries. The Cardinal coordinates all the Archbishops in her jurisdiction, directing them as the great war requires. Like her subordinates, the Cardinal exercises both political and spiritual authority. The balance depends on the Cardinal's own inclinations. Every successful Cardinal must advance the Sect's goals and see to it that healthy religious dispute remains within the bounds of Sabbat orthodoxy.

The Cardinal bears personal responsibility for the crusades in their region. The territory assigned to them often includes many cities that the Sabbat does not control. They must see to it that they come under the Sect's direction.

The Cardinal's subjects usually don't see her often, except during the annual ritae and in moments of great crisis when they must take a personal role in leadership. Bishops and Archbishops handle routine matters. If the Cardinal gets involved, the situation is by definition unusual and generally unfortunate for whoever attracted the Cardinal's attention.

The Cardinal can appoint and remove Archbishops, as well as Templars and lower-ranked officers. The Cardinal can remove a vampire's Initiated Status and declare the Cainite Hunted. She may also punish Priests with the removal of one or more Status Traits for transgressions against Sabbat orthodoxy.

The Cardinal may spend a temporary Status Trait to grant the Status of Favored to chosen agents - infiltrators, strategists and the like. Anyone who punishes or destroys a Favored member of the Sabbat faces automatic Monomacy against the Cardinal unless there's an extremely good reason for the action.

The Archbishop

The Archbishop rules over the city, or at least that's the general idea. The Cardinal for the region appoints an Archbishop to the lead the Sabbat in a city the Cardinal believes needs a more experienced individual in charge or where a council of Bishops hasn't done well.

The Archbishop is also the spiritual authority of her city. Many Archbishops were Pack Priests before attaining their positions. Archbishops officiate at many of the auctoritas ritae of their city's Cainites, and they often develop personal, local or regional ignoblis ritae as well. In the end, the Archbishop supervises the spiritual, and therefore civic, health of her city.

The Archbishop may appoint and removes Bishops and lower-ranked officers in his jurisdiction. They may also create and remove Templars.

The Archbishop can not only strip a vampire in her jurisdiction of the Status of Initiated but can also declare a Cainite Hunted. Casting out an Archbishop or Cardinal, however, without very good reason leads to the offending Archbishop's own destruction.

The Archbishop can temporarily strip Priests under their command of one or more Status Traits for inappropriate performance of the ritae - that is, for performing them in a style the Archbishop doesn't like. In cases of gross deviation, the archbishop may spend a temporary Status Trait to grant the negative Status of Questionable or Unreliable to the Priest, and (at the Archbishop's discretion) to the Ductus and other participants.

The Bishop

Description: The Bishop presides over the Sabbat population of a small to mid-sized metropolitan region, or an expanse of smaller settlements that doesn't strike Sabbat leadership as big or important enough to warrant an Archbishop. Large cities without Archbishops often run under a council of all the Bishops in the area.

The Cardinal of the region oversees the Bishops' council, and most Cardinals tolerate few serious mistakes. The often fractious nature of Pack debates means that Bishops must constantly intervene to forestall disaster while worrying that the wrong action taken or left undone could mean their own destruction. A Bishop enjoys less maneuvering room in which to demand obedience: The Bishop must negotiate as well as command. Bishops answer directly to Cardinals, whose justice may have severe consequences if an errant Bishop refuses to mend his ways.

The Bishop can appoint and remove Ducti and Priests. They may also appoint Templars.

The Bishop can strip a Sabbat member of the Status of Initiated in response to serious violations of the Sabbat's governing code. At that point, only the individual bonds of Vaulderie protect the outcast from immediate destruction.

Templar

Bishops and higher-ranking officers can appoint bodyguards and personal agents for tasks that require force and finesse. The Sabbat as a whole maintains few standards for the position, not even having a single title for it. Templars (also called Paladins when serving officers of Cardinal or higher rank) have a variety of duties, all related to combat or protection in some fashion. Most look over the personal safety of the officer who appointed them. Some monitor pack leaders' performance and intervene to solve problems.

Templars cannot join the Black Hand. Membership is seen as a conflict of interests as the paladins are encouraged to eschew factional agendas. In theory, a Templar pays attention only to his specific duties at the present time. In practice, every Templar has other issues in mind as well, and the Sect simply tries to reduce the unnecessary complications.

The Templar may disobey an order from an officer lower-ranked than the one who appointed him, as long as it's disobedience in the line of duty. If the Templar's superior refuses to support the Templar, however then normal Sabbat justice takes its course.

Ductus

Every Sabbat Pack has a Ductus, its leader. The Ductus calls their packmates to esbat (pack meetings) in which the Pack discusses its affairs. Members who've earned acclaim get it there, and members who've earned punishments face judgment. The Ductus is also responsible for dividing up responsibilities in a Pack. When rank becomes absolutely critical, the Ductus is considered "more equal than" all others in the Pack- and will have a greater say in what goes on.

The Ductus may appoint and removes the Pack's Priest.

The Ductus can grant or remove permanent Status Traits from Pack members at a cost of one temporary Status Trait each. Each grant of Status after the third permanent Trait costs the Ductus one permanent Status Trait of her own. It costs nothing at all for the Ductus to grant the Status of Initiated to new recruits.

Priest

The Priest takes care of his packmates' spiritual needs just as the Ductus takes care of their bodies, helping the pack along Paths of Enlightment, guiding them through the ritae and tending to their concerns of the soul. The Priest must know all the standard ritae since the Ductus and Bishop conduct inspections for Pack orthodoxy. The Priest also has freedom to invent new ritae for the Pack's own use on occasion.

Every pack has at least one Priest. Large Packs and Packs led by Ducti who really care about the religious side of the Sabbat may have two. If the Ductus becomes unable to lead, the Priest acts as pro tempore Pack leader until the Pack chooses a replacement or the Bishop appoints a new Ductus. Even while the Ductus leads on other matters, the Priest carries a tremendous responsibility. He must teach his packmates to resist frenzy and steer them away from infernalist temptations. Most Priests, though not all, forsake Humanity in favor of one of the Paths of Enlightenment.

The Priest can give or remove the following permanent Status Traits, each at a cost of one temporary Status Trait of his own: Blessed, Devoted and Enlightened.

Abbot

The office of Abbot goes in and out of fashion. In the Final Nights, it's favored mostly by Bishops and Archbishops who like large Packs. In regions that appoint individuals to the office, the Abbot takes charge of maintaining a Pack's haven and food supply. The Abbot must scout out possible locations, deal with security threats, find ways to dispose of the bodies and keep the Pack rested and fit for all their various duties. Converts from the Camarilla describe the Abbot's duties as a combination of the work of Seneschal and Scourge.

The Abbot can ignore one Status held by packmates whose actions jeopardize the haven.

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