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  • Ages of Darkness

    CofD's Dark Eras series is very popular, and obviously a lot of us here have tossed around ideas for various period settings for the WoD. So I'm currently trying to organize and expand on a few of my own ideas as well as solicit opinions from other people.
    What I'm aiming for here is different from the classic WoD historical lines - Dark Ages, etc. - and more along the lines of what Dark Eras does: A fairly tight temporal and geographic focus on a specific region at a specific time that seems to work extremely well with one - and preferably two or more - game lines. IE, not "The US Civil War" but "New Orleans during the Union occupation of the city from 1862 to 1874". However, some of these might be a little more broad. For example, "Kingdoms of the Jaguar", about kingdoms of southern Mexico, the Yucatan, and northern Central America during the 4th and 5th centuries AD.
    As far as game lines go, I'm mainly talking about the "Big Five" (Vampire, Werewolf, Mage, Wraith, and Changeling), but also certain things like The Inquisition/DA:Inquisitor, Project Twilight, The Arcanum, Mummy (mainly the classic ones from WOD: Mummy 1st and 2nd ed, as most of these predate the events leading to Resurrection; also the South American and Asian counterparts), Hunters Hunted in general, Sorcerer/Psychics, and possible others.

    Kingdoms of the Jaguar (Mesoamerica, @300 - 500 AD)
    This is the height of the Mayan Classical period, with a complex network of city states linked together with extensive trading networks while constantly jockeying for superiority over each other via economics, warfare, and other means. A number of these cities are estimated to have had populations in the five digit range. This is also the period that the non-Mayan central Mexican city state/quasi-empire of Teotihuacan forcefully conquered a number of Mayan cities. Teotihuacan was a major city state, its population easily into the six figures, making it one of the most populated cities on earth at the time. (It was later abandoned, but its ruins were so impressive that when the Aztecs arrived, they decided that this is where their gods used to live.)
    Primary Games:
    • Werewolf (mainly the Fera, in the form of Balam, Mokole, and Camazotz)
    • Mage (proto-Dreamspeakers, Thanatoics, and Ecstatics)
    Secondary:
    • Wraith (Dark Kingdoms of Obsidian)
    • Mummy (the Capacocha)
    Tertiary:
    • Vampire (the Drowned?)
    • Changeling (?)
    In the Shadow of the Sun King (France, 1643 - 1715 AD)
    The Reign of Louis XIV, one of the greatest proponents of absolute monarchy. This is a period of various court intrigues, a couple of major wars, and a lot of really nice French Baroque architecture (including the construction of the Palace of Versailles). Also the salons, fencing, and a lot of other fun stuff. This is the setting of The Man in the Iron Mask, Neal Stephenson's The Baroque Cycle, and Vonda McIntyre's The Moon and The Sun, among other works. It also inspired Guy Davis's The Marquis comics, which are awesome.
    Primary Games:
    • Vampire (you know you want to play a Toreador in this)
    • Changeling (sadly, we have a mild shortage of Sidhe, who would thrive here, but I think a lot of the Kiths would do well)
    Secondary Games:
    • Mage (I think there's some interesting stuff to play with here with both the solons and the idea of absolute monarchy as a precursor of certain Technocratic philosophies; the Order of Hermes and certain types of Thanatoics and Ahl I Batin would work well here IMO)
    • Mummy (while the self-proclaimed immortal Count of St. Germain was a part of Louis XV's court, I think this would be an interesting setting for both Egyptian and Greek immortals)
    • The Inquisition (the idea of a very French Inquisition reorganized by Cardinal Richelieu under Louis XIII and strongly aligned with the Sun King after the establishment of the Gallican Church in 1682 has some interesting potential, especially as counterparts to the Vampire aspect)
    Tertiary:
    • Demon (Earthbound Thralls)
    Dark Cabaret (Berlin and the Weimar Republic, 1918 - 1929)
    Possibly one of the more unique moments in cultural history. The aftermath of the Great War, a level of inflation that led to almost everyone blowing their daily pay on entertainment before the money in their hands became worthless, a lot of artistic creativity, and a number of political revolutions bubbling under the surface. Jazz, cabarets, the Bauhaus school, Dadaism, Expressionist films (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Metropolis, Dr. Mabuse the Gambler, and Faust, especially), general decadence, and Quantum physics. There's a ton of stuff to play with here. It's inspired a number of great later works, including the films Cabaret and Shadow of the Vampire. If you have any interest in the period as a setting, I highly recommend Call of Cthulhu's Berlin: The Wicked City book.
    Primary Games:
    • Vampire (this just screams out character hooks for Toreador, Brujah, Ravnos, Setites, Malkavians and Ventrue)
    • Mage (Hollow Ones! Also the Cult of Ecstasy, Sons of Ether, and certain types of Hermetics and Verbena, I think. The Children of Knowledge might also work well here.)
    Secondary Games:
    • Changeling (there is so much art, philosophy and science going on that it offers an oasis of glamour to those who might've been negatively impacted by the war.)
    • The Arcanum (you've probably got more than a few people who saw some deeply weird and unexplainable stuff during the war who may be looking for answers; also the idea of all these German chapter houses that have been cut off from their French, English and American counterparts trying to reestablish relations.)
    • Psychics (there's a lot of interesting stuff going on with parapsychology in Germany during this period, with what was referred to as "scientific occultism; this plays well with the Arcanum and Mage too.)
    Tertiary Games:
    • Mummy (some of the Greek Cabiri have a reputation for hedonism that might play well here)
    • Werewolf (German Glasswalkers and Bonegnawers in the wake of the war, as well as the Fenrir who are disgusted by much of what they see here; certain Ratkin or Ananasi centered games might also work in this setting.)
    I don't mention Wraith here because this pretty much is the setting for Wraith: The Great War, which IIRC does mention Berlin when detailing various cities. A Medium centered game would also work really well here, I think, for much of the same reasons as Psychics do, as well as the usual Wraithly reasons.

    So, that's three ideas. I welcome additional ones, as well as additional ideas of what different games might do in these settings.
    Last edited by No One of Consequence; 04-14-2020, 01:39 PM.


    What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
    Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

  • #2
    Bloody Savage Conquest (England, 1066 - 1076 AD)
    The Norman Conquest of England was a pretty violent one, especially in the north. After the death of Harold Godwinson, resistance against the Normans continued, with the Anglo-Scaninavian lands in Northumbria and parts of the Danelaw openly revolting, and the Welsh allying with them. This lead to the Harrying of the North in the winter of 69/70, a scorched earth policy against the locals that many modern historians classify as an act of ethnic cleansing/genocide and even contemporary chroniclers described as a stain on William's soul. Villages, crops and livestock were torched, innocent civilians were killed alongside rebels, and those that survived faced a winter of starvation and in some cases cannibalism. Even by 1086, the Domesday Book described many of these areas as wastelands.
    Primary Games:
    • Werewolf (this sort of thing is almost a mini-apocalypse, especially for the various septs of the North and their kinfolk; the native Garou are likely largely Fenrir, with Fianna rivals-turned-allies, and the violence and bloodshed spawning various breeds of fomori and bane monsters, as well as badly damaging the local umbra)
    • Wraith (while we don't have much information on Wraith during this period, this sort of event is certain to generate a large number of restless dead, including a lot of specters, and most likely a lot of regional maelstroms as well; imagine being Helldivers sent to deal with this, or worse, newly dead thrown into this fight while barely knowing what's going on)
    Secondary Games:
    • Vampire (at this time, Mithras is in torpor, only to awake in 1069 when a battle is fought over his resting place, likely from all the blood soaked into the earth; this is a chaotic period, and would offer PCs either a chance to ally with Mithras early and end up with a sweat position in his forthcoming reign, or to destroy him and end up possibly becoming the lords of Britain during the Dark Ages War of Princes)
    • Dark Ages: Fae (I'm not exactly sure what this would be, but the idea of various old gods and nature spirits having their existence and domains disrupted by a very destructive mortal war feels like one of those events that could strongly foreshadow the coming exodus to Arcadia.)
    • Hunters Hunted (in which various refugees and blooded veterans find themselves combating predatory monsters who seem eager to feed on the victims of the war)
    Tertiary Games:
    • Mage
    Last edited by No One of Consequence; 04-15-2020, 04:22 PM.


    What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
    Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

    Comment


    • #3
      The reign of Louis XIV marks a transition in what chivalric orders looked like, too, didn't it? Cavaliers weren't wearing heavy armor any more because it couldn't keep up with gunpowder weapons. Any era when a paradigm is evolving might be of interest to Mage players, or to Vampire neonates who can adapt to changing times faster than their elders.

      The decision to keep Weimar Berlin away from Wraith's already published World War I material is understandable, but the financial outcome of that war for Germany made the onset of the Great Depression a uniquely devastating one-two punch for that country. Having fought in the war would also make for easy character background concepts.

      I'd also add Fritz Lang's "M" to the list of must-watch films from that era. The wonderful crimeland fantasy of a city whose criminal element are just as organized as the police, if not better, reads like a case study of what could be done by a Kindred with sufficiently high Retainers and Allies in any era.

      Berlin might be fascinating enough for a game that follows a coterie through multiple eras, including Weimar Republic, the second war, the cold war, and the modern day, but that might be a topic for some other thread.
      Last edited by Reasor; 04-16-2020, 01:42 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        If we listed all of the great films from Germany's Expressionism period, we'd be here all day.

        The reason I omit Wraith: The Great War is that it already takes place in the 20s. The game's name does double duty referring to both the recent living war and to the current struggle in the Underworld to deal with the fall out of WW1, the Russian Revolution, the global influenza pandemic, and other events that have led to the 4th Great Maelstrom and the Stygian civil war. If the game had been a full line the way Dark Ages was, Necropolis Berlin would've been my pick for the first setting book.

        By the by, if you are a fan of Wraith the Great War, two lesser known bits of inspirational media I recommend are Max Brooks's graphic novel The Harlem Hellfighters, about the 15th New York National Guard Regiment, and Anne Perry's World War One series, a five part mystery series about two British brothers and their sister serving as an army chaplain, an intelligence officer, and an ambulance driver respectively.

        And Berlin during the Cold War is another one I want to explore later.


        What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
        Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

        Comment


        • #5
          Some of the stuff I'm mulling over and poking at for this (in no particular order):
          1. The Golden Age of Piracy in the Caribbean
          2. Regency Era England
          3. The Reign of Terror in Paris
          4. The Cold War in Berlin
          5. Shanghai in the 1920s and/or 30s
          6. LA during the 1950s
          7. San Fransisco after the great earthquake and/or Chicago after the great fire
          8. London during the Great Plague
          9. Prague and Bohemia during the reign of Rudolf II
          10. Egypt at some point during the Ptolemy period (most likely the start or the end)
          11. Egypt during the war between the Followers of Set and the Osirian League
          12. Scandinavia during the Viking era
          13. The Vinland colony
          14. The Southeastern US during de Soto's expedition/invasion
          15. The French colony in Acadia
          16. Constantinople during the reign of Justinian
          17. France during the reign of Charlemagne
          18. Venice at some point during the pre-Dark Ages period
          19. Walachia during the reigns of Vlad II and III
          20. New Orleans during the Civil War
          21. Carthage during the Punic Wars
          22. Southern California during the 1960s
          23. The Oregon/Columbia Territory when it was under joint control of the US and Britain
          24. The American Midwest in the late 70s and early 80s
          25. Victoria Australia during the 1850s gold rush
          I also have a number of other still very vague ideas concerning various parts of South America, Africa, India, Asia, and other areas. I welcome any additional suggestions.
          Last edited by No One of Consequence; 06-14-2020, 11:59 AM.


          What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
          Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

          Comment


          • #6
            Savage Sands (Egypt in the 4th Millennium BC)
            Essentially a Sword & Sandals/Bronze Age Fantasy setting in pre/protodynastic era Egypt (or Khem, as it would probably be called here). This is the era of the War of Horus and Set, and the time of the Osirian League, which offers a lot of crossover potential. And since factual evidence is a little thin on the ground, there's a lot of gaps that can be filled in with whatever might work best for establishing a setting that's probably a lot of epic warfare, mysterious magic, and what are arguably gods walking the earth.
            Primary Games:
            • Werewolf (This sort of thing is tailor made for Werewolf, even more so as it gives the strong potential for mixed Garou/Fera games, with the Silent Striders, several breeds of Bastet, the Mokele, and possible others. If running this sort of thing as straight Werewolf, it'd probably be best to follow the Silent Strider tribebook's lead and treat the forces of Set as Wyrmspawn monsters, rather than trying to incorporate a lot of Vampire mechanics and material, but a full crossover isn't out of the realm of possibility.)
            • Mage (This is also a setting that has a lot of interesting potential for the Awakened. It predates most existing Mage factions, but Egyptian mythology makes it super easy to create stand in factions who follow the various gods, including Isis, Thoth, Ptah, Nephthys, and Ra.)
            • Mummy (This is pretty much the origins of the game, so, yeah.)
            Secondary Games:
            • Vampire (On one hand, it would be kind of interesting to play the Followers of Set as warrior kings of the Red Desert in their holy war against these monsters of the desert and their walking dead allies. Alternately, members of the early Children of Osiris bloodline/cult trying to remain true to their humanity and Ma'at against the Beast. And then there's the usual Vampire set up of various other clans - Lasambra, Assamite, Ventrue, Nosferatu, Cappadocians, Gangrel, and Salubri would all be interesting here, I think - as they carry out their struggles for supremacy as the Setites are distracted by this whole thing.)
            • Wraith (The ancient Dark Kingdom of Sand, Amenti, during its earliest days.)
            Tertiary Games:
            • Inquisitor (One could possibly adapt some of the material from DA:Inquisition to create holy warriors in service of to Ma'at and the sun.)
            • Fae/Changeling (The Eshu are considered an outlying faction of the Osirian League, though what form they - and other native Egyptian fae - may take is an interesting question.)


            What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
            Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

            Comment


            • #7
              Rust Never Sleeps (American Midwest, 1974 - 1984)
              This is a setting that probably needs a little bit of context. After WW2, America experienced an unprecedented economic boom period that lasted at least 25+ years. As a result, you had the Silent Generation (those too young for to have fought in WW2, but pre-Babyboom) having known only economic prosperity and stability for their entire adult lives, and the Babyboomers having known such for their entire lives period. Then it ended. The Vietnam War and Watergate left a lot of mental scars, including a significant lack of trust in authority, government or otherwise. An Arab oil embargo in 1973 caused a major hit to the US economy, and the Iranian revolution in 1979 caused a disruption of the world oil supply. 73 - 75 saw a major economic recession, including massive inflation, a stock market crash, the "steel crisis", and other economic problems. Many of these hit the American Midwest - Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, as well as neighboring areas of Pennsylvania, Detroit and Wisconsin - extremely hard, with the industrial economies essentially collapsing. Urban areas saw already rising crime rates only get worse, and urban blight was a wide spread phenomenon. Adding to this list of stress causers were international terrorism and the rising public recognition of the existence of serial killers (especially with the publicity surrounding the likes of John Wayne Gacy and Ted Bundy), as well as the dawn of what would later be called The Satanic Panic. So, for our purposes, we have a swath of small and midsized towns spread across the region, dealing with economic hammer blows at the same time as a world that seems to be spiraling out of control and full of potential danger to ones family, especially children.
              Primary Games:
              • Changeling (There are two aspects at play here. One is the recently ended war against the returned Sidhe. The Midwest, especially with its working class overtones, has always struck me as a place that would be a stronghold of Commoner/anti-Noble sentiment. The other aspect is one that works especially well with Wilder and Childling characters, that of the rising slasher genre. The original Halloween is set in small town Illinois, and the original Nightmare on Elm Street is set in small down Ohio. The sort of social anxieties and fears of this period can spawn countless dark chimera and even nervosa that reflect ideas about serial killers, violent criminals, Satanic cults, drug addicts, the dreaded homosexuals, and other terrible things people are paranoid or fearful about. The idea of playing child and teenaged Changeling characters forced to confront such monsters and try to save their homes strikes me as a very strong concept for a chronicle, playing well with the game's themes of a possible light of hope in the darkness. It also can make for some interesting political implications of the PCs find themselves as commoners having to ally with their hated noble overlords for the greater good of their home town.)
              • Werewolf (This sort of economic downturn in a former heavily industrialized region leaves a lot of scars, both physical and mental, for the Wyrm - and Weaver - to exploit. Various shuttered plants and warehouses can make excellent layers for all kinds of monsters, as well as leftover industrial chemicals and other wastes. And all that angst, fear, and anger make excellent entry points for banes. Fomori are likely crawling out of the woodwork, and while the economy is doing poorly, it provides opportunity for PENTEX and other financial predators to swoop in and gather up potential future resources for the inevitable 80s comeback. The Bonegnawers will no doubt thrive in this environment, while other tribes and septs may decide that this massive blow to the human economy is a good thing from their perspective, even while some point out the negative effects it is having with the forces of the Wyrm corrupting more and more innocent bystanders. This setting also works really well for a Ratkin centered game.)
              Secondary Games:
              • Vampire (If you want to play around the area of Gary and the other towns of northern Indiana and Illinois, then this period plays heavily into Prince Lodin's ongoing feud with Modius. In the rest of the region, the general mix of idealism and anger of the 60s with the anger and cynicism of the 70s - especially the punk movement - undoubtably makes this region a hotbed for Anarch activities and potential uprisings, and a perfect setting for a historical Anarch game. Also, the Sabbat can play into the period fears about serial killers, crazy vagrants, and Satanists.)
              • Psychics (This was a time when public interest in psychic phenomenon and other strangeness associated with parapsychology was at an high point. The small town setting and general mood of paranoia toward aspects of the government and business means that stories similar to Stephen King's Carrie and Firestarter work well here, as do various Amityville Horror/Conjuring style haunting investigations.)
              Tertiary Games:
              • Wraith (The general sense of gloom and anxiety makes for potent - if potentially dark and even corruptive - pathos, as well as a potential upswing in deaths from suicides and other tragic ends. Wraiths who have passion or fetter ties to certain businesses or factories may be in a panic over their potential loss.)
              • Hunters Hunter vs Demon (The Satanic Panic angel can be exploited for stories involving Earthbound cults and their thralls, as well as the the various types of mortal demon hunters who may face off against them in stories reminiscent of The Exorcist, The Evil Dead, or Sinister.)


              What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
              Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

              Comment


              • #8
                Up From The Ashes (Chicago, in the wake of the 1871 Great Chicago Fire)
                One of the landmark events in the city's history, when an October fire broke out, burning nearly four square miles and killing around 200 to 300 people. The city quickly began to rebuild, helped by donations from all around the country and abroad. What was once a city largely made of wood would now be made of brick and steel, and a paragon of the Gilded Age.
                Primary Games:
                • Vampire (The Great Fire is the key moment in Lodin's ascension to the position of Prince of Chicago, as it left a number of Prince Maxwell's strongest supporters destroyed, as well as throwing the city into the sort of chaos that opens up countless opportunities for those Kindred smart enough or ruthless enough to seize on them. Vampire PCs, be they surviving Chicago natives or newcomers looking for such an opening, can opt to side with Lodin or Maxwell, possibly tipping the scales in Maxwell's favor, or seize power for themselves. The last possibility is especially interesting if the PCs are Anarchs - or Sabbat - and try to turn the city into a stronghold for the movement. Regardless, it allows the PCs to get in on the ground floor of the upcoming massive expansion and growth of the game's signature city, and can easily be the start of a nice ongoing century and a half long chronicle.)
                • Wraith (The destruction and death caused by the fire will no doubt kick off a local maelstrom, and one likely to involve giant firestorms and human-torch style Spectres at that. Luckily, you've got all this newly destroyed relic building material with which to shore up the defenses and eventually greatly expand the necropolis's infrastructure alongside that of the living city.)
                Secondary Games:
                • Werewolf (In which we explore the interesting possibility that the fire was started by Garou as part of an effort to purge the city of vampires and other corruption. If so, it might easily be followed up by an invasion by multiple packs from sects around the greater Lake Michigan region, similar to what occurred in Under a Blood Red Moon, only with more success. This sort of thing could potentially turn into an ongoing crusade throughout the region, with Garou taking advantage of the recent dry conditions to burn down entire cities and try to reclaim the areas from the Wyrm, Weaver, and other forces. In addition, this is the same time as the Werewolf: The Wild West setting, and on the fringes of it. So it could easily tie in to events involving the Stormeater and the "Second" War of Rage. The fire might even potentially spawn Stormeater-created creatures in the ruins.)
                • Hunters Hunted (In the chaos of the fire, there's no telling how many mortals may have encountered something inexplainable or even monstrous. Vampires consumed by the Red Fear, animal-men who seem not to burn, and demonic spirits of fire and death are just a handful of the horrible possibilities. Those who are Catholic may fall back on their faith and the Church, possibly coming to the attention of the Society of Leopold. A lucky few may be involved with the Pinkertons, the Army, or other organizations with hidden believers and the ability to fight back. But most may have to set off on their own, with only their courage and skills to sustain them.)
                Tertiary Games:
                • Demon (Earthbound cults and thralls?)


                What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Dreams of the White City (Chicago, during the time of the World Columbian Exposition of 1893)
                  A follow up/companion piece to the above, when the city has rebuilt itself after the fire, and everyone is looking to the future. It's the 400th anniversary of Columbus landing in the Americas, only 17 years after the United States Centennial, and about to be the dawn of a new century. The Exposition is a celebration of scientific triumphs, as well as a spectacle of inventions, artwork, and Americana. But at the same time, there are dark undercurrents at play. The fair ended with the assassination of the city's mayor two days before the closing ceremony. The machine gun, which would play such a bloody role in the coming wars of the next century, was one of the most popular exhibits. The violence Pullman railroad strike would start in Chicago a year later. And serial killer HH Holmes was active in the city at the time. Erik Larson's Devil in the White City gives a great account of both the fair and of Holmes, and the fair features in the climax of the 2017 film The Current War.
                  Primary Games:
                  • Changeling (As I said, the Exposition is very much a giant pageant of dreams about what America is at the time and even more about what it might be in the coming century. The "White City" itself was made entirely of plaster and other temporary materials made to mimic marble, but its design and layout would have a huge impact on the future of urban design and the "City Beautiful" movement. In the Near Dreaming and even chimerically, such a place could easily become the real marble and other permanent materials it is meant to evoke, creating a powerful freehold for Chicago changelings even long after the fair's closing. The Ferris wheel, the first ever of its kind, is likely to draw Nockers far and wide, while the art and music, combined with dreams of the future, should produce a flood of glamour for the Kithain, Seelie and Unseelie. Even the darker aspects can play in to the Unseelie and Shadow Court. Basically a turn of the century wonderland for the fae.)
                  • Mage (While Chicago during the period offers a number of interesting possibilities for members of the Traditions - Hermetics, Thanatoics, Chorusers, certain types of Ecstatics, and Batini - I think this setting presents a fairly unique opportunity for a Technocracy game, with the PCs firmly in the more optimistic and futurist side of the Union's divide, even if some of the darker undertones of the period's - and the fair's - triumphalism and at times overt racism also play a part. The PCs could very easily be part of the group assigned to oversee the Exposition's design, development and execution, using their resources to help bring various exhibits to fruition, playing politics and social games to help ensure things run smoothly, and working security to prevent any sort of sabotage by outside forces.)
                  Secondary Games:
                  • Vampire (Having recently seized power in the wake of the city's fiery devastation, this is the newly crowned Prince Lodin's opportunity to show that he has arrived and is a force to be reckoned with among the Kindred of the region and even the country. The forthcoming Pullman Strike will only offer more opportunities for him to cement his power in the city. If you wanted to run this as a sequel to Up From the Ashes, the PCs could be Lodin's lieutenants rising in power with him, or replace him entirely so that it is them using the Exposition and surrounding events to advance their own power. Even if they are Anarchs, their particular brand of "Anarch-ism" may include the sort of futurism and science the Exposition is based on. There's also the idea that HH Holmes and his "Murder Castle" may in fact be a Masquerade coverup for the atrocities committed by one or more vampires - even a Sabbat pack - rather than a human killer.)
                  • The Arcanum (This is a major period of expansion for the society, including when they first start admitting women as members. Turn of the century mysticism, spiritualism, and paranormal science are the Arcanum's bread and butter, and 1890s Chicago is a wonderful place for that. Weird hauntings, demons, strange artifacts from around the world showing up at the Exposition, and various Cthulhu by Gaslight tropes all work wonderfully here, IMO.)
                  Tertiary Games:
                  • Wraith (the chaos of the post fire period has undoubtably died down now, and it would be interesting to have characters who cut their teeth during the firestorms now tasked with investigating the Nihil that has developed in or around the Murder Castle while also trying to take advantage of the pathos being generated by the fair.)
                  • Werewolf (While the Glass Walkers, and to a lesser degree the Children of Gaia and possibly Black Furies, are the only tribes to take a major interest in the Exposition, some Bone Gnawers are likely to be involved in the events and subcultures leading up to the Pullman Strike. I think the Exposition might also make an interesting setting for an Ananasi one-shot.)
                  • Kindred of the East (While Chicago's main "Chinatown" was established in the early 20th century, there is a "forgotten Chinatown" on the southern side of The Loop that existed in the 1880s and 90s. It isn't inconceivable that a handful of Asian vampires - as in enough to make a PC party - might have settled here, and are quietly active in Chicago during this period.)


                  What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                  Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    On Stranger Tides (Nassau and the Caribbean, 1696 - 1726)
                    The Golden Age of Piracy, including the period of the so-called Pirate Republic established in Nassau from 1706 to 1718 when the War of Spanish Succession caused the British government to effectively abandon the existing colony and it was run entirely by British privateers. The region is effectively a war zone between Europe's great powers, with privateers making fortunes raiding enemy ships. In addition, there's a lot of mythology to play around with here. Besides the usual nautical lore of mermaids, sea witches, ghost ships, and sea monsters, the region includes things like the Fountain of Youth, possible remnants of lost Atlantis, and hidden troves of Aztec or Spanish gold.
                    Primary Games:
                    • Mage (There's a lot of fun to be had here, and plenty of hooks for almost all of the Traditions existing at this time. Besides the usual pirate shenanigans, there's the hunt for various regional talismans and other treasures that may have been lost during the Spanish conquests, as well as searching for possible nodes, trying to protect regional Bygones, and establishing Chantries that are as far from the Order of Reason's influence in continental Europe as possible. This is also a critical period in the history of the Bata'a, and it would be interesting to run a game centered around the Craft during this period.)
                    • Changeling (The Changeling Storytellers' Guide devoted a sizable section on this period as an alternate setting, leading many at the time to speculate that it would be the game's historical setting. And it's one that work's really well IMO, as almost all of the Kiths have adapt well to piracy tropes, and it plays well with the idea that this is the time of the commoner kith establishing themselves and their own identities during the Interregnum. It also offers opportunities to incorporate Merfolk into a game.)
                    Secondary Games:
                    • Mummy (This period has two items of interest. One is that this is a setting in which members of the Egyptian/Greek, South American, and Chinese immortals might actually meet and find themselves working together, so it's a rare opportunity to run a Mummy game that includes them all. The other is the possibility of encountering a new type of immortal, those who have found and drank from the Fountain of Youth.)
                    • Vampire (Which would probably be called On Bloody Tides or something; The logistics of a vampire coterie running a pirate ship is not insurmountable, the main issue finding a mortal crew that's ok with serving as a herd. The Caribbean is probably not a bad place for vampires on the losing side of the Anarch Revolt to have gone to hide.)
                    • Werewolf (On Savage Tides? While Garou don't generally like the ocean, The Bone Gnawers and Silent Striders can work really well here, IMO. Possibly Uktena, Black Furies and Shadow Lords as well. Ratkin sea rats also seem like a perfect fit for this setting. Ananasi might also be interesting. And the setting does offer plenty of opportunities for encounters with native Mokole, Balam, and Rokea.)
                    Tertiary Games:
                    • Wraith (While the dead have their navies, this is probably still dangerous territory, and the Caribbean shadow lands are likely to be an almost alien landscape. Besides the Hierarchy, Renegades, and Spectres, there's the ruins of the Dark Kingdom of Obsidian, the influx of African dead who are claimed by the Dark Kingdoms of Ivory, and the early history of Les Invisibles. The book WoD: Blood Dimmed Tides discusses the necropolis of Port Royal, Jamaica, a city that was largely destroyed by earthquake in 1692. Really, the only reason I list this as a tertiary rather than secondary idea is that most of the real fun begins after a lot of the famous pirates of the period have died and are roaming the Shadowlands. Blackbeard, for instance, is detailed in chapter six of Haunts.)
                    • Hunters Hunted (I just like the idea of a crew of privateers who are all survivors of encounters with the supernatural - vampires, demons, sea monsters, etc. - who now go around looking for monsters to put down. The sort of thing that draws on the likes of Solomon Kane and The Black Corsair, among others.)


                    What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                    Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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                    • #11
                      ^^^^^^ My favorite so far.


                      "Steel isn't strong, boy. Flesh is stronger."

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by No One of Consequence View Post
                        Dark Cabaret (Berlin and the Weimar Republic, 1918 - 1929)
                        Possibly one of the more unique moments in cultural history. The aftermath of the Great War, a level of inflation that led to almost everyone blowing their daily pay on entertainment before the money in their hands became worthless, a lot of artistic creativity, and a number of political revolutions bubbling under the surface. Jazz, cabarets, the Bauhaus school, Dadaism, Expressionist films (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Metropolis, Dr. Mabuse the Gambler, and Faust, especially), general decadence, and Quantum physics. There's a ton of stuff to play with here. It's inspired a number of great later works, including the films Cabaret and Shadow of the Vampire. If you have any interest in the period as a setting, I highly recommend Call of Cthulhu's Berlin: The Wicked City book.
                        I'd love to see a bit here about Nosferatu, because the history of that film is bizarre even without the gigantic Masquerade issue of its existence. (And I'd address the question of whether it exists in-setting at all - these days it seems it is.)


                        Craig Oxbrow
                        The Trinity Continuum freelancer

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                        • #13
                          Lords of the North (Scandinavia, @800 - 1000 AD)
                          Focusing mainly on what is now Denmark, Norway and Sweden, and Nordic culture, folklore and fantasy-horror outside of the usual viking raider tropes. This is the Katteget Sea and Skagerrak straight areas, going up about as far as the Arctic Circle. It's a land of small kingdoms and a lot of trading, especially with raiders bring back goods from around Europe. Also long, cold winters, a lot of wilderness filled with large and sometimes dangerous creatures, both real and mythical. All of the game lines work well here, and interestingly, there is an over arcing theme among them that these are effectively god-like beings who occasionally walk among mortals when not tending to the world of gods and monsters.
                          Primary Games:
                          • Werewolf (This is the land of the Fenrir and likely what a lot of them consider the apex of their tribe. While going out a-viking and trying to claim new lands is fun and all, there's still the serious business of protecting and stewarding the caerns, territories, and umbra of the region. Kinfolk need to be looked after - we especially don't want them getting corrupted by some crazy ideas brought back from far away, like this Christianity thing or Roman/Byzantine hedonistic finery - and trolls need to be slain. And the wicked cult of the One Eyed Odin and his Aesir is an ever present threat.)
                          • Mage (This is the Valdaermen in the hight of their Summer, as well as a strong period of the Spirit-Talkers. It's also possible that members of the Old Faith may be lurking in the background, and the occasional Hermetic visitor.)
                          • Vampire (The All High and his Eignherjar at their zenith. While the book Wolves of the Sea focuses heavily on the Gangrel, it's also very easy to work Ravnos and Nosferatu into the region and culture, as well as angels for Cappadocians, Toreador and others in the larger towns to the south.)
                          • Dark Ages: Fae (This is near the ending of the War of Seasons, I think, and its entirely possible that the native huldra may see themselves as the sides of light and dark - Ljosalf and Svartalf? - as much as they do the seasons. Regardless, this is a fun place for Norse inspired firstborn, changelings, and inanimae.)
                          Secondary Games:
                          • Wraith (I don't think we've ever gotten much of any details about the restless dead and underworld of northern Europe prior to the Hierarchy's establishment there. It would be interesting, IMO at least, to see a Dark Kingdom of Ash that incorporates the various Nordic ideas of the afterlife, including Valhalla, Folkvagnr, and Her.)
                          • Mummy (I've actually found it fairly easy to adapt various parts of Mummy to a Nordic cosmology, with the characters as Einherjar who've earned the gift of eternal life so that they may repeatedly die gloriously in battle against the forces of darkness and chaos as they prepare for Ragnarok.)
                          Tertiary Games:
                          • Hunters Hunted (Nordic viking monster hunters battling draugr, skin changers, trolls and other monsters.)
                          • Demon (The possibility of an Earthbound and its cult based around something like Surtr, Jormundgandr, or Nidhoggr.)


                          What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                          Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Craig Oxbrow View Post

                            I'd love to see a bit here about Nosferatu, because the history of that film is bizarre even without the gigantic Masquerade issue of its existence. (And I'd address the question of whether it exists in-setting at all - these days it seems it is.)
                            I'm guessing you've seen the film Shadow of the Vampire? (I love it as Vampire viewing not just for the vampire angle, but also because a lot of it deals with the way the fictional Murnau is losing his humanity over his obsession with making this movie.)
                            I like to believe that it exists in the WoD, with a number of younger vampires in the post WW1 period beginning to realize that if they became a subject of lurid fiction and film, then sophisticated urbanites, especially those in positions of governmental and societal power, would scoff at their existence as the silly superstitions of ignorant peasants.


                            What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                            Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Indeed - I've always had it existing in-setting, hitting on the name based on a legend that got some details right, and the attempt to destroy every copy over the copyright claim and its failure being backed by rival Kindred. (And the fight over the rights delaying a sequel to Universal's Dracula for similar reasons, before the advantages of being disbelieved were generally agreed on.)


                              Craig Oxbrow
                              The Trinity Continuum freelancer

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