The pack is a basic unit of structure for the sect, serving both social and military functions. All Sabbat, even the sect's leaders, are members of a pack. A Sabbat vampire does not have much choice about the pack to which he will belong since he has no control over who chooses to embrace him. He must remain a member of the pack that created him. Packs maintain their own permanent communal havens. They travel occasionally, but one city remains their home. Packs conduct their business on a certain night each week. These weekly meetings are known as esbats. Often an Ignoblis Ritus will be held during the esbat, but it is mainly used to conduct pack business. All pack members must attend unless a good reason for absence is given in advance.

All Sabbat put their sect before themselves and everything else in the world. They know what will happen to them if they do not. The Sabbat treats disloyalty very harshly, and some members have perfected the art of torture and disfigurement. Final Death is the only real choice for the disloyal.

This does not mean that all within the sect possess the same opinions. Among the fanatics are those with differing views on all Sabbat activities. The Sabbat leaders do not want mindless drones. They want strong-willed vampires ready to face death for the second time. Only strong Sabbat can understand true freedom, and they are the ones who push the sect on to domination.

The Sabbat provides protection, freedom and loyalty to all its members. These gifts are not without their costs. The members are required to protect sect interests, carry out missions and to give the Sabbat total fealty and devotion. All Sabbat have what are called Vinculums, or special bonds of love and loyalty shared with their pack. The Vinculum varies between all members, but always translates into a strong love for and loyalty to the sect itself. While Vinculum strength may vary with each individual bond, Sabbat vampires tend to be stronger in their loyalty and devotion to the sect itself than to individual members. Because of this Vinculum for the Sabbat itself, its members are considered fanatics. Most are willing to accept Final Death for the good of the sect. In addition, this special Blood Bond makes the Sabbat's secrets especially hard to uncover.

From the day a Sabbat vampire is Embraced, she has certain responsibilities. All Sabbat must uphold pack tradition and practices. They must choose and support leaders who serve the good of the Sabbat as well as the good of the pack itself. They must challenge weak and incompetent leaders as well as those who serve only their own interests. They must perform missions for their leaders. They must work to destroy all the enemies of the Sabbat. Finally, they must be willing to give up their immortal lives for their sect.

Unlife in the Sabbat is wild and dangerous. Most Sabbat vampires do not exist long after they have been Embraced. Younger members are considered the most expendable. Constant fighting with the Camarilla and other foes, such as the Inquisition and Lupines, forces Sabbat to live on the edge. While the Camarilla vampires fear Final Death and seldom take great risks, the Sabbat's basic beliefs lead all sect members to do whatever it takes to carry out the mission of saving Kindred from Gehenna.

The pack fills two important, connected roles for the Sabbat. First and foremost, it serves a combat function. This military aspect is important for furthering Sabbat plans. The second function of the pack is to provide a social group for individual Sabbat.

The Clan does not play an important role in the pack. Each clan maintains its own ties, but these are secondary to those of the pack. Clans sometimes hold their own gatherings, and members often partake of the Vaulderie together.

Sabbat Pack Ranks

Ductus

Every Sabbat pack has a ductus, its leader. The importance of the title varies from pack to pack. Sometimes the ductus holds real authority, whether by fear, charisma or some other means of getting her packmates to do her will. In other packs it’s just there because superior officers want someone to blame when the pack screws up. A ductus who consistently gets her pack into trouble eventually gets destroyed, from above or below.
When rank becomes absolutely critical, the ductus is considered “more equal than” all others in the pack- she has distinguished herself somehow and earned responsibility for (and some authority over) the pack, which most ducti can bring to bear should a matter of pack policy come into question. The wise ductus, of course, listens to her pack, resorting to rank only when others refuse to see the strength of her arguments.
  • The ductus automatically gains the status trait of Feared when taking office, and this can never be permanently removed while she remains ductus.
  • The ductus appoints and removes the pack‘s priest.
  • The ductus can grant or remove permanent status traits from pack members at a cost of one temporary status trait each. Each grant of status after the third permanent trait costs the ductus one permanent status trait of her own.
  • It costs nothing for the ductus to grant the status of Initiated to new recruits.

Pack Priest

The priest takes care of his packmates’ souls just as the ductus takes care of their bodies. The priest sets the tone for the pack‘s values and priorities. What do pack members value most highly? What angers them most? How do they deal with losses and setbacks? The priest’s teachings provide the answers. The priest must know all the standard rim since the ductus and bishop conduct inspections for pack orthodoxy. The priest also has freedom to invent new ritae for the pack‘s own use. The popular ones spread, earning favor for the priest and the enlightened leaders who let him experiment while unpopular ones bring disfavor on the idiot and the fools who let him out of his cage. Every pack has at least one priest. Large packs and packs led by ducti who really care about the religious side of the Sabbat may have two. If the ductus becomes unable to lead, the priest acts as pro tern pack leader until the pack chooses a replacement or the bishop appoints a new ductus. Even while the ductus leads on other matters, the priest carries a tremendous responsibility. He must teach his packmates to resist frenzy and steer them away from infernalist temptations. Most priests, though not all, forsake humanity in favor of one of the Paths of Enlightenment. Some priests encourage their packmates to adopt the same path while others encourage any system of morality that doesn’t undermine the pack‘s goals.
  • The priest automatically gains the status trait Enlightened when taking office and this can never be permanently removed while the priest retains his position.
  • The priest can give or remove the following permanent status traits, each one at a cost of one temporary status trait of his own: Blessed, Devoted and Enlightened. The priest uses these traits to mark the rise and fall of his packmates’ spiritual insight