in the World of Darkness
The world of vampires has a currency just like any other, but vampires
are not generally that impressed with cold hard cash. They deal in something
a bit more complicated, boons.
A boon is like a debt. You do someone a favor, and if they acknowledge
that you helped them out, they now owe you a boon. Sounds pretty simple,
but nothing in the world of darkness is ever simple when you take everything
understand that a boon isnt owed just when you take it upon yourself
to declare it. If someone saves your existence by choice, and others see
him do so, if you dont acknowledge the boon, the court may destroy
you. If a vampire becomes known as untrustworthy or an oath breaker, the
harpies may allow others to ignore their debt to him later. (And it becomes
very hard to trade in boons in any event.)
One thing to remember is that boons must be paid off because the social
order demands it. If a Prince doesnt enforce boons, then the people
who owe him boons might not have to pay him off, and he isnt going
to tolerate that.
However, if the boon isnt formally acknowledged, the social order
will not force the boon to be paid off, its as simple as that. Of
course, some principled vampires will repay their debt just because they
choose to honor the system of protestation, but its not a good idea
to rely on principle in this harsh world.
Ok so I owe a boon. Just what is required of me now?
(Depending on where you look, the way these boons are described is different.
This is the way we do it here; at least this way its consistent.)
Since boons are so important, boons are carefully described in two ways.
Firstly in what would be done for you to owe the boon, and secondly in
how you can repay the boon.
A small boon like this doesnt mean that the person who did
you the favor inconvenienced himself while helping you, just that
he helped you. He might trade information and demand a boon.
A trivial boon is paid off with one action, and never requires anything
of that character again. It requires that the player use a discipline
on the others behalf, or that he votes on his behalf, or perhaps
that he supplies a piece of information. If a person chooses not
to repay the boon when he could do so, he can usually get away with
it, but the harpies or Prince might use this as an excuse to destroy
his status in such a case.
If another person inconveniences himself on your behalf, giving
up part of a limited resource, then a minor boon is appropriate.
A minor boon is still generally paid off with one action. While
the boon is held, the one who owes should be polite and not insult
the other in public, but that doesnt mean he has to agree
with him. Where with a trivial boon one can choose not to repay
and only risking status, when someone comes to collect a minor boon,
youd better pay. A minor boon could be paid by allowing someone
to use your haven for a long period of time, or by guaranteeing
their safety in a domain you already control. A minor boon can be
paid off by instructing another in a discipline which is common,
like Celerity, Potence, or Fortitude.
A major boon is owed when the person sacrificed greatly of his time
or resources, and subjected himself to a certain amount of risk.
A boon can be repaid by teaching the other hidden lore or how to
perform a clan discipline. (Thaumaturgy, Protean, and Quietus count
as a blood boon, unless the person owing the boon is willing to
repay his debt in that manner.) At this level you must support any
political action the possessor of the boon desires, even against
your own clan, but this negates the debt.
A blood boon is only appropriate when the collector of the boon
risked his assets or friends for you, or put himself at some direct
risk at losing his existence.
A blood boon is a truly terrible debt, which might not ever be repaid.
While it is owed, you may never vote against the owners interests,
you may never speak directly against him, and you must teach him
when he requests it. (And if he demands your political support he
will get it. If giving such support actually endangers your life
in a real way, the debt is now paid.) If he demands dark clan secrets,
like Thaumaturgy, teaching him such negates the debt. If you
risk your existence to save the owner of the boon, the debt is canceled.
boon may only be claimed if the claimer of the boon truly laid his
very existence on the line. Fighting clearly inferior opponents
does not count.
The possessor may demand anything that he likes, anything. This
debt is only repaid by saving the life of he who owes the boon.
He may demand anything short of that and get it, and you still owe
Read The Fine Print
One of the interesting things about boons is that if you should kill kindred,
and that kindred owed a boon, you now owe that boon in turn. Twisted isnt
Certain enterprising kindred have even taken out such boons, knowing that
someone hunting them might elect not to kill them, simply because they
dont want to pick up the boon.
However, this doesnt matter in the case of a blood hunt, or someone
killed by a member of the court expressly doing his or her job. (Like
Justicars or Archons.) The boon disappears.
Finally, also remember that this is all enforced by the harpies and the
Prince. If both the harpies and the Prince hate you, then youd best
step very carefully when interpreting your boons. On the other hand, if
enough people like you, they might not consider something to be worthy
of a boon. Popularity is a very good thing.
The other thing to remember is that the worst time to be seen as ignoring
your boons is when someone else already has. The more the rules are trod
upon, the more likely the Prince is to lash out, possibly invoking the
Tradition of Destruction. As his domain is seen to be lawless, his power
weakens. (But even the first time might be the last, should the Prince
be in a bad mood.)
the Malkavian, new in town, doesnt find shelter from the sun in
time. Another kindred sees him, and lets him use his haven. This is a
trivial boon, because he didnt really give anything up to help you.
Later he asked for an introduction to the Prince of the city whom the
traveling vampire is from, and the debt is paid.
Later Delacroix sees a neonate being menaced by a young Brujah. He drives
off the other vampire easily. The neonate now owes a minorboon to Delacroix.
It would have been more than that if the Brujah was a threat, or if by
opposing them he angered the Brujah Prince of the City. For some time
the debt goes unpaid, until the time comes that Delacroix asks for instruction
in Fortitude, a fairly common discipline in the area. Teaching is given,
and now the debt is negated.
Delacroix finds a member of the local Primogen being attacked by Garou.
After a desperate fight, he manages to kill one Garou and drag the Primogen
away, who is in torpor. This is a life boon, since he unquestionably saved
his life. From now on, in any vote that Delacroix is involved he votes
for him, teaches him anything he needs to, and offers him haven. Had the
Primogen not been put in torpor, it could be argued that this would have
just been a blood boon.