[Let’s Study V:tR] The Invictus

Posted: December 9, 2011 by pointyman2000 in Articles, Let's Study, Roleplaying Games, Vampire: the Requiem, World of Darkness

Life is good when you’re on top.

This is the simple immutable truth behind the Invictus.  This self-styled First Estate of elders, power-brokers and cutthroat vampires represents the old guard.  Those who preserve and enforce the old power structures since they’re the ones on top.  Natural enemies of the Carthians, the Invictus are the aristocracy of the night, who use their extensive connections and influence in mortal and kindred society to hold on to power.

To the Invictus vampire, power is everything.  Why bother with changing the power structure when you can simply claw yourself to the top and reap it’s rewards for yourself?  Who cares about the soul and spirituality when every moment of your undeath is spent making sure that nobody else gets the better of you?  The Invictus are a fiercely competitive group of individuals, relentless and achievement-oriented, they are willing to do anything to advance themselves.

Of course, there’s a certain irony in the fact that the elders that hold positions of power are nigh immovable from their posts.  It’s not like they would actually grow old and die after all… but that doesn’t mean that a sufficiently motivated and cunning younger vampire can’t pry them off their posts.  In fact, I suspect that this kind of challenge is what motivates many of the younger vampires of this Covenant.  Sure you could just submit and be a good little rank-and-file, but that would just be the same as giving up, and that would be unacceptable.

The fact is that the Invictus have been around for a long time, and as one of the oldest Covenants with a relatively unbroken history, they’ve perfected the art of power and keeping it.  This leads to an interesting ecosystem where they can advertise themselves as the first among equals, and the outspoken guardians of the Masquerade.  They make a compelling case against the Carthians, as their structures have been around for as long as many living vampires remember, and as far as the Invictus are concerned, they work.

We Made The Rules

The Invictus are the guardians of the Masquerade.  Majority of the titles, procedures and rules by which Kindred society were popularized by the Invictus.  As such, like it or not, many of the other Covenants owe the Invictus at least some iota of gratitude for putting up a system that has managed to keep vampire society from imploding in an orgy of blood and hate.  Trust the Invictus to lord that fact over everyone else, of course.

And We Never Play Nice

That said, the Invictus are also obsessed with keeping and administering their power, going so far as to extend their influence towards mortal interests and society as well.  A few favors owed by mortals in power can go a long way, and nobody knows this more than the Invictus.  Certainly the Carthians look towards human society as a model for new power structures for the Kindred, but only the Invictus knows how to wield human resources to their best effect.  This effectively multiplies the leverage that the Invictus can apply on an given target, as they don’t have to worry about attack from vampiric powers, but from other threats that may crush their assets while they’re asleep.

Of all the Covenants I’ve studies thus far, Invictus seems to be the most appealing to me.  I still see it as just another means for a bored immortal to keep themselves occupied, but their grounding in history makes it feel a little more real as opposed to the unfocused nature of the Carthians and the soul-searching nature of the Order of the Crone.  One could say that their lack of any sort of higher ideal as opposed to simple power is refreshingly honest.  The Invictus know that what they have now is all there is to their unlife, so rather than try to find meaning from an external source of self-affirmation, they take it by the reins with their own two hands.

In many ways, this sort of resonates with me in the same way that the Mage: the Ascension Order of Hermes did.  Nothing will stop you if you’re determined enough, so why let anything get in your way?

If you’re interested in learning more about the Invictus, the sourcebook is available from DriveThruRPG for $19.19 or roughly PHP 845.00

  1. Hikkikomori says:

    Always apt.

  2. I think if I ever played vampire, I’ll be going for Invictus. Maybe.

  3. One of the most important elements of the Invictus that I think should be used to reinforce how they are not just petty, but have long standing traditions, are their rules of boons, presentation, titles and guilds. All these things add to the many layers of intrigue within the sect, which again is very diverse and not all Invictus groups are the same from city to city. If anything these extra details add to the immersion within the setting.

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