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Fury of Dracula (third edition)» Forums » General

Subject: thematic hideout clearing? rss

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Winston Smith
United States
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Just wanted to ask for people's opinions regarding the card effect, that when vampire encounters are matured the three oldest hideouts are cleared. Why should there be a connection between those two happenings?

On the one hand, this seems like a simple balance mechanism, that vampire encounters cannot be matured, and their influence scored, too quickly one after another. On the other hand, what should this represent thematically? How do we understand it within the metaphor of Dracula visiting locations and laying down plots and traps? Is it that the newly matured, apprentice vampire now somehow "takes over" that local neighborhood within three road moves of its location, and so the encounters that Dracula arranged/deposited there are superseded and erased? That's a bit of a stretch, thematically, if you ask me, but I can't immediately think of anything better.

Operationally, one thing that clearing hideouts does is release their location cards which can then be used again; e.g. it gives Dracula some added flexibility for the next few moves, and helps him out by reducing the trail and making it harder to pick up again. But, again, how are we to understand this thematically/metaphorically? To answer that, it seems, we have to first find a thematic meaning for why Dracula can't back-track and re-visit anywhere he's been within the last ~week. Is it because the locals would be on to him and get out the pitchforks, if he spent too much time too soon again in one city or village? That makes some sense; but why, under that conception, would maturing a new, junior vampire make it any safer for Dracula to re-visit a recent destination any sooner? Does it hypnotize the locals into forgetting the earlier evidence, or just give them something else and more important to think about?

I'm about to start up a new game with a group that likes to have thematic and metaphorical explanations whenever possible, and so wanted to ask for any help or advice anyone might have on how to make sense of this particular rule. Thanks!
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Abdiel Xordium
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According to the game Dracula gains influence by maturing vampires. I would say the additional influence allows him to cover his tracks.
 
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David Williams
Scotland
Elgin
Moray
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Agreed on the 'using his newly gained influence to cover his tracks' reasoning.

As to why he can't backtrack, I'd say your along the right lines. He has left clues everywhere he went - witnesses, abandoned coffins etc. Returning is generally too great a risk to even consider.

He actually can have someone clear those clues so he can safely return (Misdirect) or pass quickly through them (Wolf Form, Escape as Bat IIRC) but he has to be very careful and it's much more likely someone will notice him or his lackeys if he does so (the players know when he plays Misdirect).

Sure, it's a stretch. The trail and hidden movement mechanic is elegant and fun but it doesn't make the most thematic sense. I'd suggest not thinking too much about this particular aspect and just embrace the overall theme. Putting on creepy music helps.
 
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Ivor Bolakov
United Kingdom
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Lightship wrote:
Just wanted to ask for people's opinions regarding the card effect, that when vampire encounters are matured the three oldest hideouts are cleared. Why should there be a connection between those two happenings?


I don't believe it features in Dracula, but a common ocurrence in vampire fiction is an established vampire killing off younger or weaker vampires in order to control their territory and the people within.
 
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Randal Divinski
United States
Natick
Massachusetts
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The trick with a thematic explanation is that the trail clearing has both positive and negative effects for Dracula.

On the one hand, it frees up his movement options and reduces locations the hunters can find. Several explanations above address this side of the equation.

On the other hand, it also removes several encounters (f not already dealt with by the hunters) that are close to also maturing. This is a drawback.

On this side of the ledger, I think of it as the hunters having their own contacts in various locations (nobility, church, police, university, etc.). When they have SPECIFIC information they can mobilize them to search their location during daylight and remove traces of Dracula's influence. (This is most easy to imagine in terms of maturing vampires -- searching crypts in the cemetary, as in the novel.)
 
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Chris Merritt
United States
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randiv wrote:
On this side of the ledger, I think of it as the hunters having their own contacts in various locations (nobility, church, police, university, etc.). When they have SPECIFIC information they can mobilize them to search their location during daylight and remove traces of Dracula's influence. (This is most easy to imagine in terms of maturing vampires -- searching crypts in the cemetary, as in the novel.)


The problem with this explanation is that the Hunters lose out on the information about which locations were cleared. If it was their contacts that had spread out and removed any trace of Dracula's influence, one would think they would let the Hunters know.

Might be easier to say that the newly matured vampire received orders to clear up any traces of Dracula's presence to throw off any pursuit.
 
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Andrew Bird
Australia
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How about this:

The newly matured vampire sows so much terror and chaos in their immediate vicinity that all vampire-related clues that might have been lingering are now completely useless. Sort of like the new vampire stomping all over Dracula's footprints.

"Yes, there clearly was a vampire here, but was it Dracula, or one of his children?"
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