So my plan consists of 2 laptops and a VPS for offiste backup. Do I point both laptops to the VPS only or can I connect them to the VPS and each other with everything pointing to the same folder? Will that confuse things?
Connecting several devices in a full mesh structure is one of the core design considerations for Syncthing. It will not get confused.
Which topology you should configure depends solely on your requirements, e.g. should the laptops sync with each other in the same LAN, where they have no possiblity to reach the VPS.
Sounds good, my plan is if the apartment burns down I have a copy or if either laptop dies, so mesh it is.