So, you’ve just decided to become a member of the Camarilla?
Fantastic. I hope your former comrades dwelling outside the Ivory Tower see the real threat of the Sabbat as you did. Anyways, let’s not stand on ceremony (it’d be wasted on you, after all) and get down to the business at hand. What follows are just a fraction of the things you’ll need to learn now that you’ve decided to be an, ahem, adult.
Where do we go if we aren’t willing to join the Camarilla?
Anarchs can go wherever they want. Isn’t that right? However, just because you refuse the protection and privilege of the Camarilla doesn’t mean you’re exempt from our Traditions. Welcome to freedom and all that eternity has to offer.
How is a Prince different than a Baron?
A Baron is nothing in the Camarilla. They hold zero standing in our august organization. Barons are Anarchs; lawless. They are typically powerful enough to defend their domain. However, they are rarely capable of defending an entire city AND upholding the Traditions. Your Prince is powerful, influential, and has the support of the city’s elders. It is her duty to uphold the Traditions that have kept kindred safe and flourishing for centuries. Like the Prince, a Baron might be tough or cunning, but he’s very much an amateur trying to play a professional sport.
Remember, the Prince ALWAYS has the right to undermine, change, ignore and create their own rules and laws in their Cities. A Justiciar is responsible for determining if that Prince has abused their authority, in the eyes of the Camarilla. Anarchs may shout with vim and vigor, but they will never change the laws of this Sect or the Prince who is master of the Traditions in a domain.
What is "Acknowledgement"?
Literally, it is the Tradition of Hospitality. When you enter the domain of a Prince, you must allow her to acknowledge you. Until our esteemed Prince acknowledges your presence in her domain, you are afforded none of her protection. Oh – you can come and go as you please like your Anarch sire taught you, but you’ll never do so safely.
Why is Hospitality important?
If you are caught in the Prince’s domain and have not introduced yourself and been properly vetted by those who serve our great Prince, you should expect to find yourself with a wooden shaft in your chest. At that point you better be damn good at explaining to the Lord Predator of the domain as to why you are feeding on her stock without the decency of getting her permission. Some Princes kill for such transgressions, others might keep you staked for a century or two at their whim. Some may even use blood to bond you into slavery. Many cities are using the archaic Scourge to avoid even seeing your lot besmirch their domain. Yes, it’s the Scourge's right to kill unacknowledged or thin-blooded kindred, often with zero oversight. In other words, make it a point to get acknowledged.
How do I get the Prince to honor Hospitality without my head being on a Pike?
It is common practice in the Camarilla to send letters to the domain of a Prince. While a formality, this allows the Prince to refuse or accept a visitor outright ahead of time until she is ready to receive them formally. The Prince's Court should treat the visitor accordingly.
You’re not a letter writer?
Better find a kindred with enough standing to grant you protection until you can arrange for the Prince to receive you. Such kindred need to have the status and standing to warrant a Prince's attention. As such, members of the Primogen Council are the most sought-after kindred for this process. However, the clock ticks for these philanthropists, as they are taking great personal risk in providing sanctuary; your crimes are their crimes. Always remember, neonate, nobody here offers charity work. Expect to owe someone.
Speaking of favors, what is a boon?
Simply, boons are favors traded among the kindred. While the Anarchs may use a simple system of honor or spitting into one’s palm, the Camarilla benefits from generations of experience in quid pro quo. You’ll find that after two centuries of existence you can only trust in the process to keep your adversaries honest. For your edification, here’s a very cursory breakdown of how prestation and boons work:
Trivial Boon: Owed for simple favors.
You really want to be seen at that art show, and I have the number of the artist.
Minor Boon: owed for a series of trivial boons.
It’s the art show, the after party and the girl at the coat check.
Major Boon: Owed for something done that compromised your safety or holdings.
The meeting with the coat check girl didn’t go so well, and now you have to hide the body.
Life Boon: Owed for saving someone's life. Period.
The girl’s brother happened to be a trained vampire hunter and the only thing between you and the sunlight are my police connections.
More on Boons
You can only offer a boon if you have the clout to offer it. Clout is domain, resources, allies, contacts or Boons owed to you by other kindred.
Who keeps track of boons?
The Harpy, the lesser Harpies or Talons. They have to know of the boon or the boon doesn’t exist. The one being given favor has the responsibility to notify the Harpy. It is up to the Harpy to determine when a boon is fulfilled. In extreme cases, a Harpy may be prompted to hear evidence of disputed boons. Truly, it is acceptable to be indebted to your betters, and unacceptable to try to swindle those who bless you with favor.
What is a Masquerade Breach?
Many former anarchs THINK they understand the First Tradition. Unfortunately for us all, many young kindred have a fractured understanding at best. A violation of the Tradition of Masquerade is ANY evidence that can lead the kine back to the existence of vampires. Could it be that you still cling to the relationship you had with your college sweetie? Perhaps, because you’re edgy, you choose not to lick your wounds after feeding? Maybe you’re an especially passionate member of your clan and you just can’t keep a good frenzy down? These are all actions that alert mortals to the existence of vampires. This doesn't mean every frenzy will get you killed, or if there are witnesses to your deeds, you are dead. It does mean, however, that if you do not clean up your mess or make the attempt through prestation, you have violated the First Tradition.
The Traditions of Caine
First Tradition: The Masquerade
Thou shall not reveal thy true nature to those not of the Blood.
Doing such shall renounce thy claims of Blood.
Second Tradition: The Domain
Thy domain is thine own concern.
All others owe thee respect while in it.
None may challenge thy word while in thy domain.
Third Tradition: The Progeny
Thou shall only Sire another with the permission of thine Elder.
If thou createst another without thine Elder's leave, both thou and thy Progeny shall be slain.
Fourth Tradition: The Accounting
Those thou create are thine own children.
Until thy Progeny shall be Released, thou shall command them in all things.
Their sins are thine to endure.
Fifth Tradition: The Hospitality
Honor one another's domain.
When thou comest to a foreign city, thou shall present thyself to the one who ruleth there.
Without the word of acceptance, thou art nothing.
Sixth Tradition: The Destruction
Thou art forbidden to destroy another of thy kind.
The right of destruction belongeth only to thine Elder.
Only the Eldest among thee shall call the Blood Hunt.