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  • Ideas for a Sabbat siege.

    Hello, I’m looking for some “side encounters” for my chronicle. This is a Sabbat siege of LA (1 week in August 1965).
    One of the goals of this story is showing PCs how “horrible/monstrous/inhuman” Sabbat is.
    Any idea/suggestion for those encounters?


    The PCs own a nightclub (similar to the higher floor in Succubus Club (jet set oriented)). Sabbat is going to embrace some random people in the Club and lock everybody in. When the PCs receive a SOS call from the club, they’ll go there and get attached by a dozen of frenzy neonates. They’ll have to kill their former ghouls and employees… after this I need 3 full night of horror and anguish.


    My plan is:
    1st game session with Sabbat winning the war, lot of terror stories, PCs very scared.
    2nd game session, Anarchs regroup and lay down a plan to fight the Sabbat.
    3rd game session, Fighting and winning against the Sabbat.

  • #2
    Have you read clan novel Toreador and Tzimisce? They both capture a Sabbat siege from different perspective. Very inspirational.

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    • #3
      I read them more than 10 years ago. I have vague memories of them. The thing is, I have my game tomorrow. I would appreciate if you could help my memory.

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      • #4
        Same here to be honest so my memory is also weak. But I remember in the Toreador novel that you really got this grand contrast of the Camarilla and the Sabbat. You had this fancy Toreador ball full of etiquette and political scheming. Then the monstrous Sabbat crashed the party. The room went black, chaos spread as someone yelled LASOOOMBRAA! They really made effort to portray the Sabbat as really creepy. I also think the novel showed how hard it was for the Sabbat to be organized. You really had these strong willed different personas and warpacks, one freakier than the other, and they had to work together. You could flee the main battle upstairs only to run into smaller packs patrolling around the city. No place was safe, it was an invasion. The Sabbat didn't only attack the party but also every other powerplayer in the area who didn't go. Think I recall one pack attacking a Camarilla hang out called "the blood bank", laughing at how predictable the Camarilla was with their cute names for their Elysiums.

        I think you really should focus on that no place is safe and the city is in chaos. Too much Camarilla influence lies with their ties to the law so the Sabbat should make sure that the cops has other major things too focus on than helping a spoiled Ventrue suit that tries to collect his boons. Spread terror, spread fear. Then comes the hard part to try to regroup and build a resistance.
        Last edited by anda; 09-27-2017, 09:46 AM.

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        • #5
          Perhaps the Tzimisce have kidnapped an important human or Cainite (either to an important NPC or a character). When they go to get them back, a C4 bomb has been fleshcrafted into them and they have to deal to save them.

          Also, fleshcrafted shovelheads and their reaction if the PC's manage to get them to come to their senses.

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          • #6
            Most anarch and Camarilla vampires use their Disciplines sparingly. Crank up the horror side of vampires with weird uses of common Disciplines that stretch the Masquerade without quite breaking it:

            Animalism to have a swarm of rats attack a "safe" location, preferably overrunning and killing a ghoul or other familiar NPC.
            Auspex to attack while using blinding flares.
            Celerity to chase down anyone trying to escape.
            Dominate to send a horde of confused people to get in the PCs' way. Zombie-like moaning and clawing at their clothes optional.
            Fortitude to walk Terminator-style through shooting and fire, using Willpower to appear to feel no pain. At higher levels, douse oneself in gasoline and charge.
            Obfuscate to appear from nowhere with a garotte around a target's neck.
            Potence to tear footsoldiers' heads and limbs off.
            Presence to Dread Gaze anyone and anything, or to lure guards away from their posts.

            And this is before we get to clan-specific Disciplines, especially Sabbat ones.

            And have them raid the local blood bank to (a) explain the excessive use of Disciplines and (b) deny it to the enemy.

            In a friend's game a Sabbat syndicate took over a smuggling operation in order to arm specific gangs and also ship some of their members in from Mexico.

            Meanwhile, there are also subtler Sabbat agents sneaking around and causing less obvious trouble. If they have any double agents maybe they can quietly eliminate an NPC anarch gang that the agent knows well by finding and invading their havens, or spies can track them to their lairs

            They're also often happy to cheat and throw mortals at enemy vampires. Find a gang hangout and call in the ATF, and the local Kindred will have to flee or fight.


            Craig Oxbrow
            The Trinity Continuum freelancer

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Craig Oxbrow View Post
              Most anarch and Camarilla vampires use their Disciplines sparingly. Crank up the horror side of vampires with weird uses of common Disciplines that stretch the Masquerade without quite breaking it:

              Animalism to have a swarm of rats attack a "safe" location, preferably overrunning and killing a ghoul or other familiar NPC.
              .
              Animalism can't do that unless you are talking about 6+ levels. Animalism badly needs a buff, as that is the sort of thing it SHOULD be able to do at player-levels.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by CajunKhan View Post

                Animalism can't do that unless you are talking about 6+ levels. Animalism badly needs a buff, as that is the sort of thing it SHOULD be able to do at player-levels.
                Mea culpa! Beckoning can get the rats but they'll need motivation. Requiem second edition has a suitable power at 3.
                Last edited by Craig Oxbrow; 09-28-2017, 11:49 AM.


                Craig Oxbrow
                The Trinity Continuum freelancer

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                • #9
                  Seige? Fun times

                  Shovel heads buried in either a graveyard if strategic or public park in the city, maybe half of them break out after sunset the other died or don't get out.
                  While dealing with this, the Sabbat attacks the nightclub locking everyone inside (Barricade the doors with things needing potence to move) and embrace as per your plan. just have them leave their new recruits on 1 blood with most of the humans left with cuts, so eventually these new embraces (while still retaining their personality) frenzy, feeding and hating themselves for it (Probably killing people in the frenzy) Maybe it turns a little like the end of Dusk til dawn with a few holding out.
                  Dominate the ghouls, vampires or mortals into weird actions in case they survive.

                  [maybe they hear about the shovel heads after the nightclub, maybe before, depends on what you need to do narratively]

                  THEN bring in the shock troops; szlachta raiding a sports field, late night college Football maybe. Obten spots over the crowd.

                  Have pre-installed dominate commands for police or other emergency services so they're no use or make things worse.

                  All in all, most Sabbat power players probably won't be involved. One Pack could possibly do all of this with One decent Lasombra Ductus, one Tzimesce Priest who builds the monsters and a handful of assistants

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                  • #10
                    Everyone always goes for the EEEEEVIL! Sabbat stuff. Even the Camarilla expects it. Best way to go at a Cam city is sideways, and that means straight-up fucking with them, forcing them to ground, spreading their resources thin and allocated to the wrong places, and all-in-all being so confused and split down the middle as to how to respond to the mass fuckery, that when the final blow does strike, it catches the Camarilla completely pants-down.

                    - One Gangrel or Nosferatu sneaking into the city zoo can have all kinds of fun. This doesn't have to involve busting animals out of the zoo, loading them up with vitae, and watching the shit hit the fan, no matter how fun that is. Sneak in, give the gorillas and/or monkeys makeovers and dress them up like Harpies, and sneak out. Animal keepers are gonna have a hell of a time explaining that one, it'll have the Cam's teeth grinding, and more likely than not pointing fingers at the local Malkies since that's exactly something they'd pull and not the Sabbat.

                    - Start Dominating people on the street. Organize a flash mob outside Elysium, or at a major Kindred gathering. Maybe have them do the Thriller dance, or sing a capella "You're So Vain" by Carly Simon, or something...carrying stakes and Zippo lighters. Again, totally the Malkavian thing to do, except this time a whole lot more Masquerade-threatening which will have every Malkie in the city diving for cover and/or doubling down.

                    - Use Obfuscate and disguises to repaint traffic lanes and street signs of major streets and through-ways. Especially if you have intel on local Kindreds' favored routes to travel to and from Elysium or holding(s). Nothin' says lovin' like a nice big traffic clusterfuck right when rush hour starts, and the Cammies are trying to get home before the sun rises. Whoever's stuck in traffic will be guaranteed to be on the phone, wanting to know which asshole it was with Influence (transportation/infrastructure) is making the power play, and those assholes' denial will just be proof of mischief.

                    - Ever hear of a Swedish old-school delicacy called Surstromming? It's allegedly the most pungent food in the world, the mere smell enough to induce vomiting in most. Hell, there's one true life story turned urban legend about an older Nordic tenant of an apartment being evicted for eating the stuff; when the case was challenged, the defendant (the landlord) merely opened a can of the stuff in court, and after clearing the courtroom and a supposed "vomit wave" incident, the case was summarily dismissed. Somewhere, some time, a Toreador is planning a jet set social event that'll involve wealthy and influential mortals, whose party is just dying to be infiltrated and their finger foods replaced with surstromming. Nossies get blamed, you don't.

                    - Have an idea where the Tremere chantry is? Organize a D&D LARP near it one day. Special rules, arcane and divine casters only. Everyone not a Tremere will probably think it's some big league, straight fucked Thaumaturgical ritual and be howling for the Tremere do to some 'splaining, and the Tremere will be holed up inside their chantry in Siege Mode just knowing someone's onto them. Everyone knows deep down the Tremere would never do something so stupid and brazen, but the opportunity to settle old scores and win some brownie points picking on the most-hated clan in the sect, is a siren song no upstanding Camarilla member can resist.

                    Hands down, the easiest way for the Sabbat to take a city is to set the Camarilla vampires against each other. More often than not, they're one misstep away from a Rube Goldberg machine of complete societal breakdown. It's easier for the Sabbat to pick off stragglers, survivors, and/or weakened victors of Camarilla infighting than to roll in hard. Hell, for the Camarilla knowing the Sabbat is sniffing around their territory is enough to put petty squabbles aside for the moment and unify, which is the very last thing the Sabbat wants because it means a unified front when they come rolling in.

                    The Sabbat is in a weird position. They're portrayed in more than one book, not the least of which the actual Guide to the Sabbat, as partaking in more than their fair share of stupid jackass pranks and "minor" mischief. And the sect gets a bad rap based upon certain published works for it, by somehow "diluting" the essence of the sect. But where the rubber meets the road, that stupid jackass bullshit can be (and usually would be) vastly superior strategy than how the Sabbat is portrayed in acting in its "purest" form. The way I see it, most Sabbat sieges "really" begin when packs eventually get bored of waging psych warfare and just want to end it, less-subtle packs left out of the psyops game start getting growly waiting for the real fun to begin, and/or a Bishop's superiors start expecting results; otherwise, in the majority of cases, there's no real need for a siege as typically depicted except to land the killing blow against a city's Cams.
                    Last edited by Theodrim; 09-29-2017, 10:04 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Another little nasty - though more pratical than evil - trick for Sabbat infiltrators to play in a city about to be invaded would be tracking down the retainers of local kindred, specially the elders (who will usually have the oldest & more powerful ones) and capture them for mass embracing, making a large band of shovelheads who are considerably more experienced and familiar with the local oposition to boot.

                      Considering some kindred with a thing for Presence or Dominate may get between 2-5 ghouls or more, it's easy to see how this kind of "stalking & poaching" can snowball pretty badly for kindred of invaded city as they are suddenly stalked by bands of freshly embraced ex-ghouls full of newfound resentment from blood bonds broken through Vaulderie. Honestly, it worked so well for the Chicago chronicle i inserted it into the other players adopted the tactic as Sabbat procedure for their own games with much ensuing paranoia in the process.

                      Weird idea that i don't know how kosher would be, but sounds entertaining at least: Lasombra with Dominate 4, Obtenebration 3 implants people with shadow tentacles instead/along with mental commands on a trigger, making unwitting mortals into one-use shadow weapons of sorts.
                      Last edited by Baaldam; 09-29-2017, 10:34 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Some ideas below. Depending on when the PCs arrive at the scene and their actions, they might be able to prevent or ameliorate some of this. In order to build on the tension, make sure that this is done by one or two packs easily identifiable because of some kind of symbol or outfits one or more of them wear that identify their pack.
                        • NPC friendly calls PCs at payphone to warn them, ask for help, give information, or whatever, and some Sabbat attacks him. Guy drops phone in mid phone call, but PCs overhear his screams as the Sabbat work on him. When over, it is some time before the receiver is finally hung up and then PC hears nothing.
                        • Sabbat capture a vampire NPC your PCs like and see him drawn and quartered (by Sabbat on motorcycles). Very brutal death.
                        • PCs see a Sabbat pack feeding on a vampire PC draining all of his blood after a savage attack brought him down. Should be same experience as witnessing cannibalism.
                        • Useful idiot Anarch who believed in Sabbat "Freedom!" propaganda betrayed Anarchs initially, and a Sabbat pack now allow him to prove he's worthy to join. However, it involves the gruesome Sabbat rites like jumping over fire and stuff. That NPC demonstrates he is not really Sabbat material, so quickly it changes from "let's have him prove he's worthy by all doing these kind of things" into "this guy is a loser so let's make them more like a torture session we'll enjoy and laugh at him."
                        • Sabbat war party is damaged after an inconclusive fight against an Anarch coterie. To heal up, they wander into a diner and kill everyone LA Confidential style (Night Owl Massacre). PCs arrive in time just to see the terrible killing which is far more brutal and senseless than anything that happened previously. They could have easily simply killed some nearby bum and drained him, but instead wanted to have "fun" instead.
                        • Sabbat capture and kill one person for food, but instead of simply draining and killing, they show they are very sadistic and sick by gruesome desecration of the body (Black Dahlia style).
                        • PCs see them approach two young kids on their bicycles on their way home soon after the sun is set, and it is obvious what they will do to them if the PCs do not intervene.
                        These are all scenes which could be inserted into almost any session at any time, and you can use any number of methods to explain the PCs arrival at that place and time.

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                        • #13
                          It seems like people didn't catch that this was going to be in 1965 Los Angeles. The time you put forward is literally when the Watts Riots occurred! This should be either a flashpoint in the Siege or how it's covered up.

                          As the Sabbat shouldn't have any major influence in the city, they can instead use Dementation, Dominate, and Presence to whip up a furor in the less affluent and easier to infiltrate areas in the city. The should pull police and emergency services (used to protect the local Anarchs) away while they get down to the bad stuff.

                          Travel can also be difficult if you cause gridlock - the freeways are nowhere near completed and everyone needs a car to get around. major damage in key thoroughfares would cause massive issues and make travel difficult. The Sabbat can use that to their advantage and siege key locations, such as havens.

                          ANother fun bit is that the Griffith Park Zoo closes in 66 - this can be a massive staging ground for using Animalism or unleashing war ghouls and/or mass embraces.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by nunboi View Post
                            It seems like people didn't catch that this was going to be in 1965 Los Angeles. The time you put forward is literally when the Watts Riots occurred! This should be either a flashpoint in the Siege or how it's covered up.
                            Well, i did, but then the stuff i suggested ain't really impacted in any way by specific time period, so didn't comment on it either way.

                            Originally posted by nunboi View Post
                            As the Sabbat shouldn't have any major influence in the city, they can instead use Dementation, Dominate, and Presence to whip up a furor in the less affluent and easier to infiltrate areas in the city. The should pull police and emergency services (used to protect the local Anarchs) away while they get down to the bad stuff.

                            Travel can also be difficult if you cause gridlock - the freeways are nowhere near completed and everyone needs a car to get around. major damage in key thoroughfares would cause massive issues and make travel difficult. The Sabbat can use that to their advantage and siege key locations, such as havens.

                            Another fun bit is that the Griffith Park Zoo closes in 66 - this can be a massive staging ground for using Animalism or unleashing war ghouls and/or mass embraces.
                            Now those are indeed some pretty good suggestions to take advantage of elements of the city more specific to the time period. Also, don't forget Chimerstry as Ravnos antitribu are most certainly around to spread trouble with their illusions too, not to mention weird tactics one might come up involving the signature disciplines of a number of antitribu and bloodlines.

                            Also, not quite sure right now, but i think Angelo from the original Kindred Most Wanted was embraced/spawned as a Blood Brother during the chaos of the Watts Riots.

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                            • #15
                              Mentioning the convergence of the Sabbat siege and Watts Riots is a great call out.

                              But just remember the OP didn't ask for generic ideas on how to conduct the siege, but encounters that show "how “horrible/monstrous/inhuman” Sabbat is" to his PCs.

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