Responsibilities and Powers of the Prince
The Prince is the highest authority in the city; his word is law. As the lord, master, and protector of all Kindred in the city, he must:
- Hold a regular court to address grievances and handle city matters, including Status. This must be a formal event held at least once per game, preferably twice (once at the beginning and once at the end).
- Attend all games (this isn’t a strict rule, especially if he has a Seneschal, but the position isn’t protected when he’s not there).
- Uphold the Traditions as he sees fit.
- Appoint and maintain a Primogen Council. He may do this in whatever manner he wishes (choosing the Primogen himself, taking the recommendations of the Clans, appointing the Clan’s chosen representative, choosing based on territory, etc.).
- Appoint a full set of city officials – a Sheriff, Harpy, and Keeper of Elysium. He may, but doesn’t have to, appoint a Seneschal. There’s no reason why these can’t be the same person, but proper decorum suggests that they be different people.
- Call at least one Primogen meeting during each game.
All this power comes with certain privileges, as follows:
- The Prince automatically gains the three additional Status Traits: Exalted, Famous, and Well-Known upon attaining the position.
- The Prince also receives a special Status trait, Prince. This trait can never be considered expended, and it counts as however many traits the Prince must bid in a Status Challenge (for instance, if the Prince is down 6 bids, the Prince trait counts as 7 traits bid). When bid, the Prince trait permits the Prince to win all ties on Status Challenges. Because it cannot be expended, the Prince trait cannot be used to retest a Status Challenge. Of course, the Prince is not required to throw his title around if he does not wish to do so, though he does not gain the benefit of the Prince trait during Challenges where it is not bid.
- He may expend one temporary Status to grant or remove one permanent Status from any Kindred for any reason. This must be done formally at court. No more than three permanent Status may be granted to a single character per game this way.
- He may acknowledge a Kindred, granting them the Acknowledged trait. This costs nothing, but must be done at court.
- He may expend four temporary Status to call a Blood Hunt on a single target. Such a target immediately loses all of his permanent Status and may be killed by anyone in the city. This must be done formally at court.
- The Prince also has all of the powers of Harpy, Sheriff, and Keeper of Elysium. He may also reverse any uses of their powers by expending a single temporary Status trait.
- The Prince is the final authority on all disputes brought to him and on all matters of the city. He may (and is encouraged to) make pronouncements and devise systems of law and punishments that are binding upon all Kindred.
Current Prince: Ramona Stone
Responsibilities and Powers of the Seneschal
The Seneschal is the Prince’s right hand and chief advisor. He acts in his place when the Prince isn’t present, which gives him certain responsibilities:
- Attend all games at which the Prince isn’t present. Optimally, he should attend all games, but that’s not required.
- Act as the Prince when he is not present. This includes performing all of the tasks required of the Prince.
- Advise the Prince by attending meetings of the Primogen Council and meeting privately with the Prince at least once per game.
The Seneschal gains the following abilities to aid him:
- All of the powers of the Prince when he isn’t present, or whenever the Prince gives him some token, announced at court, that denotes that he acts with the full authority of the Prince.
- The Status Traits: Cherished and Esteemed upon attaining the position
Current Seneschal: Sally Davies
Responsibilities and Powers of the Harpy
The Harpy is the master of Status. He ensures that everyone plays the game properly, and delivers appropriately harsh penalties to those who don’t. This means he must:
- Sanctify any matters of Prestation brought to him for that purpose. Once he observes such, the words of the parties are bond, recognized by the city.
- Adjudicate any disputes regarding Status.
- Punish any who abuse the Status system, whether by acting above or below their station or by ignoring Status entirely.
- Do all of the above in a reasonably fair manner. He can be crooked, but that risks losing the support of the city. Without the city’s support, the Harpy is nothing.
- Attend all games.
The Harpy gains the following abilities to aid him:
- The Harpy automatically gains the Status Trait: Influential upon attaining the position.
- He receives a token from each Primogen member, imbued with one temporary Status trait that represents their favor. Since these traits are temporary, they may be revoked at any time. If more than half of these traits are revoked, the Harpy may not use his other powers, as he no longer has the support of the city. Note that this isn’t the same rule as the other city officials follow.
- He can sanctify any written agreement between Kindred by keeping a copy for himself and signing his name to (or placing his seal or stamp on) the contracts. If either party violates the terms of the contract and the Harpy finds out, he may expend one temporary Status to eliminate one of the offender’s permanent Status. If the contract is violated in this way, the contract is also considered to be null and void. While sanctifying an agreement can be used at any time, the power to remove Status for a breach of contract may only be used at court.
- The Harpy can, upon observing someone ignoring Status, immediately expend one temporary Status to eliminate one of the offender’s permanent Status. This power can be used via public pronouncement whenever the Harpy observes such an egregious act.
- The Harpy can expend one temporary Status to remove one permanent Status from any Kindred if he has conclusive evidence of that Kindred’s involvement in a major scandal. While the Harpy can define what constitutes a major scandal, “conclusive evidence” must involve at least some grain of truth (even if that’s merely the word of a Kindred who has defeated the target in a Status Challenge). This power can only be used at court, and only upon presenting the evidence of the scandal. This power can’t be used to strip additional status from someone who breaks a boon, though repeatedly breaking boons can be a major scandal.
- The Harpy can expend four temporary Status to remove one permanent Status from any Kindred that he finds acting offensively outside his station. This power can only be used at court.
- The Harpy can expend one temporary Status to restore one permanent Status he has removed.
- Other than the Prince, the Harpy is the final adjudicator of all Status and Prestation in the city. Save for the Prince, his rulings on such issues are final.
Current Harpy: Vacant
Responsibilities and Powers of the Sheriff
The Sheriff is the representative of the Prince’s law in the city. The Sheriff is not immune to the powers of the Keeper of Elysium, nor is the Keeper of Elysium immune to the Sheriff’s powers. The Sheriff has certain responsibilities:
- Attend all games.
- Provide adequate protection for the Prince, his entourage, and the Primogen council.
- Mete out any punishments demanded by the Prince.
- Ensure the security of the city against the Sabbat and those who would breach the Masquerade.
- Capture any Kindred wanted by the Prince.
The Sheriff gains the following abilities to aid him:
- The Sheriff automatically gains the Status Trait: Feared upon attaining the position.
- The Sheriff may take any Kindred into his custody so long as he has a written order from the Prince (or some other token that designates that he acts in the name of the Prince) or is a personal witness to that Kindred violating one of the Traditions. If his target resists or refuses, the Sheriff may expend one temporary Status to strip the offender of one permanent Status. This power may be used at any time through public pronouncement.
- The Sheriff may expend one temporary Status to strip one permanent Status from any Kindred against which he has conclusive evidence of violation of the Traditions or the pronouncements of the Prince. “Conclusive evidence” can include the word of a Kindred who has defeated the target in a Status Challenge. This power may only be used at court.
Current Sheriff: Lilith
Responsibilities and Powers of the Keeper of Elysium
The Keeper of Elysium establishes, maintains, and protects the safe areas, or Elysium, of the city. This duty sometimes brings him into conflict with the Sheriff, especially in regards to protecting the Elysium grounds. The Sheriff is not immune to the powers of the Keeper of Elysium (but nor is the Keeper of Elysium immune to the Sheriff’s powers). The Keeper of Elysium has certain responsibilities:
- Attend all games held on Elysium ground.
- Establish, preferably in writing, and announce at court the boundaries of Elysium.
- Enforce the laws of Elysium. In Elysium, no violence is permitted (note that that isn’t “no attacks are permitted”) and no art may be destroyed. The interpretation of these laws – specifically, what is violence and what is art – is up to the Keeper of Elysium.
The Keeper of Elysium gains the following abilities to aid him:
- The Keeper of Elysium automatically receives the Status Trait: Honorable upon attaining the position.
- He may expend one Temporary Status to strip one Permanent Status from any Kindred against which he has conclusive evidence of violating the laws of Elysium. “Conclusive evidence” can include the word of a Kindred who has defeated the target in a Status Challenge. This power may only be used at court.
- He may also deny entrance or eject from Elysium any Kindred who he suspects may be planning, or is about to commit, a violation of the laws of Elysium. This can include denying entrance to those carrying weapons, for example. If the Kindred so banned refuses to leave, the Keeper of Elysium may expend one Temporary Status to strip him of one Permanent Status. This power may be used at any time through public pronouncement.
Current Keeper of Elysium: Howard Masterson
Responsibilities and Powers of the Scourge
The Scourge is at once a new and an old position – it’s a recent revival of a position from the Dark Ages, a result of fears of the Sabbat, the Caitiff, thin-bloods, and Gehenna. Many Kindred feel the Scourge is, therefore, an unworthy position, best relegated to the dustbin of history. Even those who do accept it believe it a necessary evil, and not a position of honor. When and where it exists, the Scourge’s job is to judge unacknowledged Kindred living within a city. The Scourge has certain responsibilities:
- Search out and either detain or destroy any vampires who are living in the city, but are not acknowledged by the Prince.
- Enforce the Traditions of Progeny, Accounting, and Hospitality, within the edicts of the Prince.
- Attend all games.
The Scourge has several powers to aid him in this task:
- The Scourge receives the permanent status trait, Feared, from her position.
- The Scourge may harass, detain, or destroy without penalty any Kindred within the city who has not been acknowledged, or who was created without the Prince’s permission. This applies regardless of where this Kindred is found; the Scourge is immune to the powers of the Sheriff and the Keeper of Elysium when exercising this privilege of office. (However, harassing unacknowledged Kindred on Elysium grounds, if their goal is to present themselves in accordance with the Traditions, is deeply frowned upon and may be grounds for loss of the position.)
- The Scourge may expend Temporary Status to strip one Permanent Status from any Kindred against which he has conclusive evidence of harboring unacknowledged Kindred or Kindred created without the Prince’s permission. “Conclusive evidence” can include the word of a Kindred who has defeated the target in a Status Challenge. This power may only be used at court.
Current Scourge: Vacant
Responsibilities and Powers of the Primogen
The Primogen are the most powerful Kindred of the city, aside from the Prince. Together, they form the Primogen Council, a board of political power players that advise (and sometimes circumvent) the Prince. Primogen typically, but do not always, represent a Clan; while their powers are largely specific to their own Clan, they are expected to properly represent the interests of those for whom they are responsible. Primogen are required to:
- Attend all games, at least if they want any chance of maintaining their position.
- Attend all Primogen meetings.
- Hold at least two meetings of the group they represent each game—preferably, one at the beginning and one at the end.
- Maintain proper discipline and control of those they represent. The Primogen can be held accountable for their actions.
- Attempt to maximize the power and Status of those they represent while protecting all those in good standing.
The Primogen gain the following powers to aid them:
- Primogen automatically gain the Status Traits: Respected and Revered upon attaining the position.
- The Primogen can expend one Temporary Status to strip or grant one Permanent Status to any member of their Clan at any time for any reason. This must be done at court. He may, and is encouraged to, establish systems of law to regulate the actions of his Clan and others he represents.
- He may appoint a Whip, who acts in a manner similar to the Prince’s Seneschal; the Whip acts in the Primogen’s name when he isn’t present. Likewise, the Primogen may spend temporary Status to reverse the actions of his Whip. Whips receive no other special abilities or free permanent Status.
- He may adopt any Caitiff into his Clan by expending three temporary Status traits and making a formal announcement at court. The Caitiff gains the Permanent Status trait Acknowledged if he doesn’t already have it.
- Likewise, the Primogen may expel anyone from his Clan by expending three temporary Status traits and making a formal announcement at court. Such a disowned Kindred loses one Permanent Status trait immediately and, despite his blood, is considered Caitiff by all other Kindred of the city.
- The Primogen controls and may dole out Clan resources as he sees fit. He may, and is encouraged to, establish systems for the distribution of these resources.
- Each Primogen member receives one vote whenever a vote is called at meetings of the Primogen Council.
- Any Primogen member may call a formal meeting of the Primogen Council. It is expected that the Primogen doing so asks the permission of the Prince and, if it’s permitted, invites him to the meeting.
- The Primogen as a whole can reverse any action of any city official. They must bid a number of Status traits equal to the permanent Status of the official in question, then defeat them in a Status Challenge.
- In the event that there are multiple Primogen from the same Clan (in a city whose Primogen are selected based upon territory, for example), powers that reference Clan still affect Clan. In these cases, the members of Clan Ventrue, for example, may have to answer to multiple masters, which creates excellent opportunities for drama. In such cases, Clans without representatives on the Primogen Council are more or less disenfranchised, but they are also not beholden to the Clan-related powers of one of the Primogen, either.
- Members of the Primogen Council may grant permanent Status to other members of the Council by expending a number of temporary Status Traits equal to the target’s current permanent Status.
- Anton Burke, Primogen of Clan Brujah
- Sean Kaine, Primogen of Clan Toreador
- Sabrina Black, Primogen of Clan Gangrel
- Henry Vance, Primogen of Clan Nosferatu
- Hansel Morningstar, Primogen of Clan Tremere