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CovertSphinx

LETS DISCUSS: Vampires vs Warewolves

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A very common trope in modern fantasy seems to be some weird, primal, natural-enemy type war/dislike between Vampires and Warewolves (when the two exist in the same universe together). So.....WHY? What are your guys thoughts on why they make such a good/bad/cliche` pairing, what reasons do you normally see them "fighting" for that in your opinion work or don't work, and...well...general thoughts on the said dynamic. 

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I'm personally clueless as to why this is a modern fantasy default. I don't think it's inherently good or bad, just handled well or poorly on different sites. By now, definitely cliche and overdone in my opinion. But it's not going to make me shy away from joining a site, or leave it if I've joined already. And if a site has this conflict, I ask why. Personal conflicts have a reason, tiny though it may be, and so should bigger ones in my opinion. Unfortunately I'd say a good 80-90% of the time the 'reason' is "well it's just like that but nobody knows why". 

 

I try not to be like this, but if your site has werewolf/vampire wars for no reason, I assume that you're just tossing it in there because everybody does it and you don't care enough to find that reason. Give me one! However shitty or flimsy it may be! Maybe the werewolves thought the vampires were trying to kill them off generations ago and the war's lasted ever since.  Maybe a werewolf leader stuck his tongue out at a vampire hundreds of years ago and the vampires never got over it. Maybe the vampires think they're better from the get-go because they're immortal. 

 

Not only does this reason flesh out the background of the site, it also gives me a better idea of how my werewolf or vampire character will react to the war. If it started out with something serious, my character's due to be a lot more invested in the drama. But if it's something that could have been smoothed over by now or if it's just done "because things are like that", then my character's probably not going to care if they associate with a member of the other species. Plus it's always fun when there's two different sides of the story, because way down the road you have lasting effects of that discrepancy. 

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To be honest, I've only EVER seen VampxWolf in the context of "theses guys don't like each other and that's just the way they are". 

 

Up until this point, the only reasonable assumption I could make (as far as logical context) was that since both traditional vamps and traditional werewolves both feasted on humans, there would be a natural competition between the two for food resources. 

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I don't have a war on my site as it were, and we do have both races. It's more a general distrust between them. Then again most all of the races don't trust the vampires in general. They can be a shifty bunch. And at one point they did nearly take over the city and throw everyone else out (back in '30's).

 

In general though, I'm not a fan of vampire vs werewolves because it has been a bit of everywhere you go. I think most of the time it's just a way to have a simple protagonist/antagonist system without having to build too much lore or trying to find a way to bring about a decent antagonist. That's just my thought on originals. On fandoms, many are pretty much set in stone due to the fandom (Underworld for example) and have to follow that. That's off the top of my head though. 

 

I like my way and how my lore is. Don't need war to not trust someone.

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I agree. VampsxWolves are so overdone, and most of the time, there's no real rationale behind it. We have inter-faction disagreements - our first major site plot was wolf on wolf, not wolf on vamp. In fact, our vampires are so disorganized (on purpose) that having a vampxwolf disagreement probably wouldn't have been a good place to start. 

 

I will admit that I did like how Underworld really structured the dynamics between vampires and werewolves. Having the werewolves being seen as "lesser" or "slaves" and then having some higher up vampire have a romance with one? Yeah, that's hella good stuff right there. I think that if you want to make it work, you have to find a reason to make it work that isn't just a natural enemy type deal. Vampires and werewolves are individuals, first and foremost, so why can't they have a basic conflict like someone called someone else a dick? Or someone took someone else's significant other? Or you know what I'm saying - something simple like that. It doesn't have to be some catastrophic "Enemies from the beginning of time" ordeal.  Their conflict could also be based on an ego trip. Maybe the vampires think they are better than the werewolves. Maybe the werewolves think they are better than the vampires. Technically, it would probably be some type of discrimination of vampires versus werewolves, but I guess it would depend on what made the vampires or werewolves think they were better than the other faction. Anyway, if there was some obtuse reason, I could get behind that and play out a story that proves that reason incorrect.

 

I hope this makes sense. I'm a little loopy and tired today. 

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In my rooms, well, the first one, we've had were and shape-shifter characters that interacted all the time.  We didn't have a 'us v them' for them.  Now in my new room, it can be played that they might not like each other, but it's not written in stone that they are mortal or half-mortal/immortal enemies.

 

One of my vampire characters adopted children that later became skinwalkers, so there is a lot of moving and shaking with the characters. 

 

To me, there's enough personality conflict to go with any character without adding a mandatory they hate each other kinda thing.

 

In fact, we had a group called the League of the Night Guardians, they were various species that worked together to combat 'The Corporation."

 

The Corporation was filled with evil devils and not good intent.  They would kidnap or otherwise subjugate a vamp, were, human, selkie anything they could get their hands on and experiment on them and using the powers of science to create super humans.

 

That was fun rp.  But, back to topic...I'd rather not have that as built into the play.  If Joe vampire hates Joanne Werewolf, I'd rather it be because they just don't get along, not because they are forced into it before the play begins.

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I'm just going to chime in with nerd knowledge on the "Why" of it as I possess it, here, because I don't have particularly strong feelings about the cliche. It can be fun done right, but eh. 

 

If anyone has sources to the contrary bring them on. I'm just sharing what I've come across researching things for RP and other projects. 

 

The werewolf vs. vampire trope first emerged in the early 90's. Prior to that there isn't really any cultural or lore/myth reference to the pair being natural enemies . There was a1987 episode of Ghostbusters No One Comes to Lupusville in which a conflict between a town full of werewolves and invading vampires broke out. That was a bit of a different trope, though, as there was no pre-disposition to animosity; and in that when a vampire bit a werewolf, the werewolf became a vampire and vice versa. Vampire the Masquerade is the first media source to contain a vampire vs. werewolf relation (or, arguably, World of Darkness from which it stemmed from). There are a few predating media sources that contain some kind of werewolf vs vampire instance, but no ongoing animosity between the species. 

 

As an aside, up until the end of the 19th century there were relatively wide-spread beliefs that when killed, if the corpse was not disposed of properly, a werewolf would return as a sort of vampire. The Greeks, for example, believed that they would return as wolves or hyenas that haunted battlefields to drink the blood of those killed in battle. In Eastern Europe werewolves and vampires were perceived to be more or less different breeds of the same species - like how a Great Dane and a Corgi are both dogs, but different. In other parts of Europe there were beliefs of "undead" werewolves - people who died unbaptized or during acts of sin. These people were thought to drink blood in the form of a wolf at night then return to their human corpse form come dawn. (Woodward, Ian (1979). The Werewolf Delusion.)

 

I think that Underworld ultimately stemmed the rampant werewolf vs vampire trope in 2003. It existed prior, because of VTM which it was heavily influenced by, but it really took off in media and RP after the release of the film. 

 

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