Last time I cranked out a long post on how I’m calculating the historical Kindred population for my game. I ended off calculating that, at most, around 124 Vampires active in North America and Europe circa 1750 is likely to have survived until 1960. This number would include the 28 odd kindred that could have survived from 0 AD until the present.
Today, in my last post before I go on a bit of a holiday hiatus, I’m going to lay out a few brief thoughts this exercise has prompted.
Elders in America
There just aren’t that many Elders in North America. Assuming, say a quarter of the 124 Elders that have survived since 1750 have settled in the US, there are about 31 of them floating around circa 1960. This is more than enough muscle to justify the canonical VtM situation where a handful Elders dominate the great older cities like New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco and, arguably, L.A. Moreover, with these low-ish numbers, I would also assume that most of their childer help in this domination.
However, at least by 1960, I can’t imagine that an Elder would have made a move to inhabit Las Vegas. It would be a very tempting target for any ambitious Vampires sired in the 1800s who are still looking for a chance to get the top spot.
The Inmates are Running the Asylum
Based on the highest numbers I’ve come up with, there would be around 1131 kindred in the US in 1960. Nearly all of them have been created since 1900. Nearly all of the efforts of the Elders and their immediate childer must be dedicated to keeping this huge number of neonates following the rules of their sect. In fact, I think the absolutist interpretation of the Traditions is a direct reflection of how threatened they are by the numbers of new kindred. The Elders wouldn’t be so worried about these laws being violated if there weren’t terrified that their society hangs by a thread.
Essentially, in my game, the establishment of the Camarillia and the Sabaat are projecting the image of power out of fear that the reality of their relative powerlessness is exposed.
I’m also wondering if neonates from both sects are likely to start questioning why they are at war with each other (this could dove tail neatly into the Vietnam War protests if my game goes that long).
WWII and the Soviet Union Wreaked Havoc for the Undead Too
Now this is a personal thing, but it is based on the flood of people into America after the war. I think that Kindred, especially older kindred, would not have done well during the war. I mean, spooky old castle hit with incendiary bombs in the dead of night? The sheer damage of tanks and air warfare would have unearthed a lot of Old World havens. I can’t imagine that the Soviet march to Central Europe would have been great for Kindred either.
Consequently, just as huge numbers of displaced people made their way to North America, so did many Kindred who found their old domains decimated, their havens destroyed and their possessions seized by the USSR. Frankly, if I bring an elder into Las Vegas, he or she is far more likely to be a penniless former central European Prince who has come to American and become a problem for more established Kindred.
Anyways, that’s my thinking. Please let me know yours!