Intrigue

(modified from The Vampire Players Guide, 2nd edition, p. 40)

You know the finer points of plotting and deal-making, whether it be in the halls of power, dirty back alleys or the treacherous nature of Cainite coteries. You understand the practical use of power (in sometimes threatening but always non-confrontational ways) to achieve your own ends. Unlike Politics, which implies a certain academic familiarity with the structures, strictures and history of political activity and discourse, Intrigue is a talent honed from first-hand experience with double-dealing, betrayal, fomenting unrest and forging back-room alliances.

It need not have any understanding of what causes those dynamics to arise, and indeed without the Politics knowledge an intriguer will be ignorant of the farther reaching implications of their plots. However, they will have a better understanding of the underlying group dynamics than those merely using Subterfuge to engage in under-handed, illicit or otherwise inveigled activities. A successful roll can be used to map out a potential alliance or ward of a possible betrayal. It can also be used to get an idea of the subtle cues and sub-text of factions present in a room, allowing one the potential to discern who really has the daggers behind their backs and thee fangs in their smiles…

In addition to this curious fusion of Subterfuge and Politics, Intrigue can be used to glean important facts about others in courts or other suitable fora. With a successful roll, one can separate truth from fiction when (or foment fiction from truth) from endless amounts of gossip and whispered conversation.

  • Level One: Novice: Perhaps you have spent some years in the Grand Court of Paris or the Narsene Court of Venice. You may have even dabbled in the convoluted schemes of the Families of Constantinople for a season or two. A mortal with this level of skill is probably destined for some great office in their country.
  • Level Two: Practiced: You are considered to be a fine intriguer if you hail from the scattered Cainite courts of the West, or a typical vampire if you call Byzantium home. A seasoned, permanent courtier in the entourage of a high noble might expect to be this talented.
  • Level Three: Competent: A talented elder of the Western courts, or a talented ancilla of the Eastern ones. Most of the elders of the Trinity Families of Constantinople would call you a capable dilettante. A high noble, courtier or merchant prince with nearly a life-time of experience might be this capable.
  • Level Four: Expert: You have the reputation for intrigue usually enjoyed by great Cainite Princes or Lords of the West, storied for your cunning and labyrinthine plots. In Byzantium, you would be considered a capable elder. Perhaps the Holy Roman or Byzantine emperors are quite this well acquainted with treachery.
  • Level Five: Master: You would probably be considered the finest and most subtle plotter in any court within your nation — or a noted Antonian elder. Few mortals indeed find themselves experienced in enough betrayal and double-dealing to achieve this level of ability.
  • Level Six: Legend: Your ability to keep your rivals and allies off-balance is almost without peer. If you deign to let people know of your success, tales of your cunning and wiles are compared to those of Basileus Caius of the Antonians, Boukephos of the Sea of Shadows, or Lord Hardestadt of the Holy Roman Ventrue.

Possessed By: Elders and those who aspire to be treated as such, courtiers, nobles, merchant princes, beggar kings
Specialties: Gossiping, Feigning Ignorance, Threats, Plotting, Rumour-mongering, Alliances, Betrayals

Intrigue

The Concord of Ashes Haligaunt