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What do you see in a low level street game?

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  • What do you see in a low level street game?

    Vampires are low on the ground. Maybe there's 1 or 2, but most of the ones on the street should probably be ghouls, revenants, or blood dolls. Or their Dominated pawns. True blue blood vampires should be very rare, a boss, and sequestered behind underlings and several layers of earth. However, they should probably be in politics. Dominate, Presence, Majesty, Blood Bonds, and other such to create conditions where the cattle are helpless against them. Probably an atmosphere of apathy or helplessness, so they can feed without people being the wiser. If there are a lot of vampires, it's mostly the lower powered ones.

    Werewolves exist, and tend to be the kind of guys you really don't want to fight. Barring glass walker, you tend to have them as the guys in the bar. Lacking a tendency to stay in the cities, tends to go there for official busineses or missions. There are few spirits in the city, despite them having their own spiritual ecology. Strengthened gauntlet, though sometimes they break through. Pentex may be an unfortunate part of any landscape, especially in areas more far from the beaten path where they can work without observation.

    Mages... tend to be rare. Maybe a few people with Arete 2/3, their familiars, consors, and etc... most of them being not that powerful. Most being orphans, with a few being from the Traditions. Most are either Extraordinary citizens or Linear sorcerers. Vast majority of Technocrats are in federal buildings, mansions, or other centers of Sleeper power. Most Traditions are in areas far from these centers of power. Like in a library, a far off forest, or in a charity or church.

    Hunters tend to be pretty much normal guys, with only a rarer ones being... you know, having any government connections at all. Their edges work out, but hey, they're mostly normal humans with a few useful supernatural powers, and have a marked tendency to just die.

    Ok, what else would you see in a street level World of Darkness story?

  • #2
    Twilight People, which is to say Ghouls, Sorcerers, Psychics, Shaman, Mediums, Kinain/Enchanted, Infernalists, Thralls, Witchhunters and the like.


    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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    • #3
      Vampires are ordinarily fairly rare, they're just more common than, say werewolves. Between 1/100,000 and 1/50,000 is still rare. Most cities aren't big metropolises with millions of people but rather only a couple hundred thousand people (unless you're playing in China where 900,000 people would be considered a town) The city I live in now would have maybe two or three vampires in it. You should also consider that cities are very big and vampires are territorial and their politics are slow. Really it sounds like you actually want a well-run city, rather than the usual -packs of neonates everywhere- setup that a lot of campaigns run.

      For a low level game, honestly I'd just throw around more mortal criminals. Corrupt cops become an issue. Werewolves don't bother with this kindof town and the vampires aren't in a big enough number to really form a government beyond "Jenny and her Childe, Ian". They ask other vampires to leave when they see them and kill those who don't leave immediately.

      I'd be more likely to use a Tzmisce and/or revenant family in such conditions.
      Last edited by MyWifeIsScary; 04-24-2021, 09:24 AM.


      Throw me/White wolf some money with Quietus: Drug Lord, Poison King
      There's more coming soon. Pay what ya want.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
        Vampires are ordinarily fairly rare, they're just more common than, say werewolves. Between 1/100,000 and 1/50,000 is still rare. Most cities aren't big metropolises with millions of people but rather only a couple hundred thousand people (unless you're playing in China where 900,000 people would be considered a town) The city I live in now would have maybe two or three vampires in it. You should also consider that cities are very big and vampires are territorial and their politics are slow. Really it sounds like you actually want a well-run city, rather than the usual -packs of neonates everywhere- setup that a lot of campaigns run.

        For a low level game, honestly I'd just throw around more mortal criminals. Corrupt cops become an issue. Werewolves don't bother with this kindof town and the vampires aren't in a big enough number to really form a government beyond "Jenny and her Childe, Ian". They ask other vampires to leave when they see them and kill those who don't leave immediately.

        I'd be more likely to use a Tzmisce and/or revenant family in such conditions.
        Aren't Tzmisce that horrific fleshcrafting clan of fiends with a fetish for sadism and body horror?

        Why them, and not say a few vampires and a bunch of ghouls?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Accelerator View Post
          Aren't Tzmisce that horrific fleshcrafting clan of fiends with a fetish for sadism and body horror?
          Sort of. Originally, they were somewhat respectable Creepy Weirdo Draculas, who tended to muck about with weird occult stuff and ruthlessly guard anything they decided belong to them. Then the original clanbook happened and leaned hard into the freak show thing.

          The revised clanbook was a bit better, and included as one of its character templates the guy who effectively the shadow ruler of an urban ethnic ghetto (sort of like the way you see in parts of The Godfather Part II, or how parts of the Somali community in modern Minneapolis are).

          Honestly, three of my preferred influences for low key urban Tzimisce are Clive Barker's Candyman, Wes Craven's The People Under the Stairs, and Kasi Lemmons's Eve's Bayou.


          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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          • #6
            Because low-key vicissitude is a thing and its horrible.
            1 erilee gorgeous people.
            2 people with humiliating vicissitude deformities preventing them from getting intimate, their bodies are hostage to the tzmisce. They angered the tzmisce, and only through appeasement can they go back to normal.. horrifying stuff.
            3 heinous criminals getting repeated transformations so they can continue to serve the tzmisce. "your enemy you met last night can be... anyone in this roo!. Mwuhawhawhaw!!!! "


            Throw me/White wolf some money with Quietus: Drug Lord, Poison King
            There's more coming soon. Pay what ya want.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
              Vampires are ordinarily fairly rare, they're just more common than, say werewolves. Between 1/100,000 and 1/50,000 is still rare. Most cities aren't big metropolises with millions of people but rather only a couple hundred thousand people (unless you're playing in China where 900,000 people would be considered a town) The city I live in now would have maybe two or three vampires in it. You should also consider that cities are very big and vampires are territorial and their politics are slow. Really it sounds like you actually want a well-run city, rather than the usual -packs of neonates everywhere- setup that a lot of campaigns run.

              For a low level game, honestly I'd just throw around more mortal criminals. Corrupt cops become an issue. Werewolves don't bother with this kindof town and the vampires aren't in a big enough number to really form a government beyond "Jenny and her Childe, Ian". They ask other vampires to leave when they see them and kill those who don't leave immediately.

              I'd be more likely to use a Tzmisce and/or revenant family in such conditions.
              Yeah honestly this is the reason why I always found that 1:100.000 is to less. From my opinion the rate should be more 1:10.000.
              As an example the famous Gary near Chicago would have with 1:100.000 not even one Cainite. But with 1:10.000 it would fit with being space for 8 Cainites.
              Or my famous Vienna would have with official rate only 28 vampires but with correction it would be with 280 more fitting for the capital of the Tremere.

              Anyway for a street lvl campaing I would if you see Cainites on the street say it is either a Brujah leading a demonstration or Gangrel that lives in the Outskirt but mostly if you see them Thinblood and/or Caitiffs. If you encounter a rare mage it will be likely only one with an Arete from 1 or 2. I agree with Garou will be unlikely to meet unless you either go to the corporates for the Glasswalker or the Squatter district for the Bone Chewer and there you should be really warned by the smell of Dog.
              I think you should encounter on street lvl mostly thugs and unless you piss the gang so much off you would likely meat the Brujah boss.


              As I am from Austria I need to clarify two things.
              First my native language is german and so please point out if the english I write is broken so I can improve.
              Second I do not own VTMV beyond first three books nor any line after M20 Corebook because it is not out there and I wait for the translation.

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              • #8
                IIRC, that ratio was always more of a rough estimate based on large regions (states, nations, and continents) rather than specific towns or cities where vampires naturally concentrate, and major cities tend to be "overpopulated" simply because it's easy to feed, hide, and operate in them. So Vienna, for example, has a much higher population ratio, partially because a lot of the surrounding villages or small towns may be underpopulated or even empty of vampires.


                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
                  With regard to ratios for vampires, I feel like there needs to be an additional consideration thrown into the equation: population density. The extent to which a lot of people are living on top of one another in crazy-huge numbers probably has a significant bearing on how many vampires a given population can support. Sadly, I am not a smart enough person to come up with a formulation that works in this particular consideration.


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                  • #10
                    I love street level games but I'm terrible at them. I recommend RUSTED VEINS as the best one I've ever read, though.


                    Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                      I love street level games but I'm terrible at them. I recommend RUSTED VEINS as the best one I've ever read, though.
                      Thank you for the rec.

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                      • #12
                        RUSTED VEINS for those unfamiliar with it:

                        * The PCs are told about a drug deal going on in Gary, Indiana.

                        * The drug deal is interrupted by the cops who steal the drugs and cash.

                        * The cops intend to keep both because fuck the police in the WOD.

                        * The PCs investigate and get contacted by Juggler, Modius, and Sullivan Dane.

                        * It turns out the crooked drug deal was a cover for raising enough cash to buy a very special slave.

                        * A young man has blood that provides a vampire natural Obfuscate. The vampire wants to learn it to escape the Second Inquisition sniffing around the area.

                        * The PCs can buy, rescue, or kill the slave at the deal's location.

                        * The Hunter, Sullivan Dane, is willing to substitute himself for the victim. If the PCs accept it, he dies but Modius dies drinking his holy blood.



                        Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

                        Forum Terms of Use
                        the Contact Us link.

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                        • #13
                          Well the problem with defining a population of vampires or any race in a roleplaying game is you need a certain number to tell a story. You need the players, obviously. You need the villain. You need the red herrings. You need the canon-fodder. You need at least one character for every role in a mystery novel, an action story, a mafia drama, an artist soap opera, and every other story you plan to tell by the end of the campaign. That number doesn't really change much regardless if you are running a Star Wars game spanning the galaxy, or a vampire game set in a small city.

                          You almost always end up fudging something numbers-wise. If you are running Star Wars, you tend to handwave how the players seem to always be in the center of things in such a huge literally galaxy-spanning story, and how all but a handful of people seem to be kind of strangely irrelevant in this story about many TRILLIONS of beings.

                          If you are running a Mage game, canonically the rarest race, somehow you have enough to fill every major roll in the story.

                          There's going to be numbers fudging, you might as well just let it slide. The numbers requirements for drama are in a certain fixed range, and that has to supersede any attempts at number-crunching.

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                          • #14
                            This thread inspired me to do another one of my lists:

                            http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...subject-matter


                            Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

                            Forum Terms of Use
                            the Contact Us link.

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                            • #15
                              These are the notes I started with for a low level street game set in early 80s Edinburgh that featured a range of supernaturals but mostly focusing on Changelings.

                              Crash and Carry

                              Billy Winter's Motley is a gang of Changelings live in the Niddry district of Edinburgh in the 80s, dealing drugs and carrying out petty crimes until Johnny arrives and starts taking over the Niddry district, but with countless opportunities for betrayal and backstabbing who will come out on top?
                              Characters

                              Johnny Alucard - Vampire criminal
                              Mordred - Johnny's confidant
                              Vennig - Johnny's 'Boss'
                              Ophelia - Vennig's childe
                              Billy Winters - local criminal

                              Vectors

                              Protagonists - changeling criminal gang and their leader, Billy Winters

                              Opening Scene Quest - Meet Billy in Style
                              Steal a car
                              Meet Billy as he gets out of prison
                              Show him a good time
                              • Billy has a cruelty/bitterness that wasn't there before
                              Upgrade the car!

                              Advantage - Local Knowledge
                              Any of the protagonists who have lived in the Niddrie area all their lives know the area like the back of their hands and have an advantage when moving around, driving cars, etc.

                              Leader (Advantage) - Billy Winters
                              Billy is the gang's mentor and fence and lives in a shared freeholding (aka Thorpe) in a tower block in Niddrie that has a couple of smaller balefire sources (2,2,1)
                              Billy also has a hideyhole in an abandoned Victorian train yard in Leith
                              Billy driving goal is for him to be the hero of the streets

                              Adversary - Johnny
                              Buys stolen goods from anyone and moves them on, he pays in cash and gear.
                              Moving in on other gangs' territories
                              His gang does occasional big robberies
                              Loves street racing
                              Loves Punk Rock
                              Johnny answers to Vennig: a crime lord who has tasked Johnny with taking over this district
                              Minions - Dealers: Johnny employs a number of tough guys as dealers

                              Hindrance - The Police
                              The police are not very competent but they can still manage to catch and lock up anyone without the skills to get away from them
                              Police Stations are very banal and any Changeling locked up in one will suffer badly. Prisons are a terrible height of banality with their regimented schedules and 24hr incarceration, any changeling sent to a prison would soon be infested with banality. This means that the police are a real threat to Changelings.
                              Niddrie

                              Obstacle - Railway Line (North). Wrought iron railings block access to the embankment on both sides although three are one or two gaps.
                              Obstacle - Shopping Mall (East)
                              Obstacle - Castle (West). High walls topped with wrought iron spikes surround almost all of the castle grounds
                              Obstacle - Open Fields (South)

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