Boons, and the Vampire Economy

The vampire economy works by a trade in favours, or “boons”. There are 3 tiers of favour. Minor, major, and significant. This is a guide to roughly what is meant by the scale of each, and the expectations around repaying a favour, when it is called in.

Minor Favours

A minor favour requires between 1 and 3 downtime actions worth of work, is not automatically hazardous to life and limb, but it is normal to regard something that risks death a minor favour, if the only way that’s a risk is if the person taking the action is stupid/careless/wildly unlucky.

Examples: help someone influence the mortal world in a specific way at no cost to yourself. Steal poorly guarded documents or secrets. Pick a fight/use vampiric powers against someone who is obviously a physical/magical inferior. Buy the right to feed in someone else’s hunting ground for between one and three months.

Major Favours

A major favour requires 4-6 downtime actions worth of work, and/or carries risk to life and limb, but is not clearly suicidal.

Examples: Help someone gain permanent sway over something in the mortal work and/or lose some of your own control in the process (burn your police contacts to help someone else improve their gang contacts). Help in an action against a powerful elder, or other supernatural being. Pick a fight/use powers on someone who is your equal. Get someone to speak on your behalf when accused of a crime/suffering political fallout. Be given permission to sire a childe/do something else controlled by the local Prince. Be allowed to reside in a Prince’s domain. Be given long-term hunting rights in another’s feeding ground.

1 Major favour = 3 minor favours.

Significant favour: 6-12 (or even more) DT actions worth of work, and/or genuinely hazardous work.

eg. Help someone gain permanent sway over something in the mortal world that is either hotly contested, or a direct cost to you (give your police contacts to someone else or help someone gain complete dominance over crime in the area). Pick a fight with someone you can’t hope to beat. Arrange for you to be pardoned for crimes like diablerie. Buy a hunting ground within a Prince’s domain.

1 Significant Favour = 3 Major Favours.

Obviously, these only apply if the same person owes you that many of the smaller favours.

Paying back a favour

Trading favours: it is fully appropriate, when someone comes to you to call in a favour, to simply say “that’s fine, Bob owes me the same scale of favour, he’ll pay you back on my behalf”, even if you’re far better placed than Bob to do what the person you owe requests. It’s a clear “fuck you”, but no-one can say you haven’t paid your debt, and sometimes you just want to say “fuck you”. Indeed, it’s a mark of influence to be able to do that – this is not to say that a smart and savvy elder will do that, if paying back the favour isn’t that much trouble to them personally – it doesn’t do to get a repuation for paying back with poor grace

In a similar vein, while it is expected that all reasonable efforts are made to repay a favour in a timely manner, saying “I’m sorry, I’m a bit busy with something else important” is a perfectly reasonable excuse to delay repayment, as long as it’s believed to be sincere. Again, this is a balancing act for both parties – it does not do to get a reputation for being slow to repay, or for being a demanding creditor.

No-one will want to be indebted to someone who always attempts to insist that repayment of their specific favours is that important, and indeed, many a foolish neonate who has made such an insistent demand has been shocked to find a powerful elder who wants their own favour repaid “having a quiet word” about the time that they’re taking up. (And of course, it’s in everyone’s interest to recognise that sometimes, one simply has to tend to ones own business if one wishes to remain a useful ally.)