It’s easy for Vampire to be a very solo game, with your character getting so tied up in the power struggles and finally ending up alienated and weakened or perhaps powerful but alone.
The world of Vampires isn’t really conducive to trusting and long-term friendships between the immortals, however sometimes a task is just too large and complex, or too damned risky to be left to just one Kindred to solve alone.
It’s good to work together and the most common example of this in Vampire should be coteries.
What is a Coterie?
A coterie is, most often, an informal circle of kindred who share a common interest, whether it is a task, an enemy or a passion. The coterie members choose to mutually support one another to achieve goals with a speed, efficiency and ease that lone kindred would have trouble matching.
So it’s like a Sabbat Pack?
No. It’s really not like a pack. Usually a coterie disbands once a task is complete. They most often attend to their own businesses and work to further themselves in private.
Benefits of Coteries
Whilst most coteries are temporary alliances geared towards dealing with a certain task, many Coteried kindred grow comfortable with the benefits being a member brings and choose to continue working together with some of their coterie mates well after the task has been complete.
Other coteries may well suffer from differing fortunes and the break-up of such a coterie that has failed or has come to blows can be violent.
Benefits your character could find from a coterie
- Sharing different experiences and knowledges can open up solutions to a problem that couldn’t have been discovered by one of the kindred alone.
- Shared responsibility if things go wrong, it’s always nice to have someone help you clean up the mess.
- A wide spread of supernatural influences and powers to call upon to solve problems. Kindred A brings the idea and the cash, Kindred B provides the muscle and the merchandise, Kindred C has the contacts to make it all work.
- Time. Sharing out a task means all participants have more time to do other tasks.
Who are Coteries?
Coteries could be hidden and secretive, or they could be loud and laughable, or perhaps infamous and feared. The members could be Ancilla, or they could be a mix of kindred of differing ages. Elders often sponsor a coterie in a task or even join coteries themselves. Some coteries are of one clan, though most are made up of individual kindred of shared interests.
A strong coterie is diverse enough to cover a wide range of problems and yet focussed enough to work together for an extended period. Some are equal partnerships, many have leaders and figureheads.
What can coteries really achieve?
Coteries run cities if they are good enough, the prince may be the boss but if he needs a job done with serious effort involved he could do far worse than to employ a coterie to deal with the task.
Coteries let you work together, drive plot and drama and personal conflicts with other characters, and allow alliances to form more easily.
Being recognised as part of a powerful coterie and having influential mates on your side of the table helps strengthen your characters position and generally enhances everyone’s role-playing experience.