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  • I'll actually be resuming my session recaps. We're past the Nazi adventure and now dealing with a NEW Imposter.



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

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    • Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
      I'll actually be resuming my session recaps. We're past the Nazi adventure and now dealing with a NEW Imposter.


      Lodin III?

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Anarade Relle View Post


        Lodin III?
        Not quite.

        But I'm also having a lot more fun with more lower key adventures.

        (I say that every adventure and always fail)



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

        Comment


        • Session 16#: The Blood Plague

          I've mentioned that the games went out of control very quickly because, well, I had forgotten how to run a low key adventure. Thankfully, this moved significantly back toward what I wanted to do. Death's Sweet Song in the Succubus Club supplement consisted of some Kindred going crazy due to a blood disease injected into vessels by a Holocaust survivor hematologist trying to end vampiredom. The adventure as written consisted of the following:

          * Gangrel goes crazy, murders a bunch of people.
          * The PCs meet the Holocaust survivor who made the disease
          * They chase down the Gangrel.
          * They need a hematologist to immunize themselves.
          * The survivor, based on their actions is either dead, realizing vampires are okay dudes, or planning on fixing his formula.

          I change things a bit by adding Modius' Coup and actual Nazis. The latter who turned out to be far less important than I expected.

          Journeying to the Succubus Club

          The game begins with the player characters checking out a building they've managed to acquire as a gift from Lodin's enemies for their role in Sheriff's death. Lodin fully plans to pay them back for that but given Sheriff was planning on killing him, is willing to delay matters for a bit. It's an apartment complex nearby Hyde Park and basically incredibly swanky with upscale tenants as well as a nearby set of gyms that is good feeding territory.

          Anubis, the original NPC Prince of Gary, also gives them the Succubus Club as a present which means they're all swimming very pretty in terms of both trritory as well as prosperity as vampires. It's the perfect situation for bringing our heroes down. That starts with them being summoned to the Succubus Club by Lodin as they find out there was a major Masquerade breach there.

          Basically, Saul Osiecki poisoned some vessels there with his blood disease and it resulted in the Kindred who drank from one immediately going into permanent frenzy. They managed to subdue him with Dickie's help but there's the question of what to do with the infected humans (once they're identified) with Lodin wanting them killed. The players, instead, order them banned from the Succubus Club for life and actively encouraged to leave Chicago via Dominate.

          One of the player characters is a hematologist and medical doctor, unlike in the original adventure, so he gets to finally use his oft-ignored abilities. Basically, after a long series of studies, he figures out the vector for spreading the disease (crystalized infected vampire blood) and also that it could potentially become MUCH MORE virulent if it became infectious. Another PC makes a Streetwise check that indicates the kind of blood is sold by Dickie Fulcher.

          The PCs, the respectable ones at least, are also invited to the Old Camarilla Club and an emergency meeting of the Primogen. Unexpectedly, they meet Critias on the way and he says he's leaving town. Ironically, for those who have read the previews for Chicago By Night 5E, it's for the same reason that he decided to stay in Chicago forever. His blood bond to Menele has snapped and he wants to get the FUCK out of town.

          Critias, owing one of the PCs a life boon, then gives them his vote on the Primogen and a folder basically full of documents, blackmail material, and secret codes. He says, "If you want to be Primogen or hell even prince, go for it."

          You see, Critias explains, Lodin's absence is because the secret of his true identity has spread enough that they're going to replace him tonight. Modius is making his move and has allied with Dieter to become Prince of Chicago at last.

          This divides the adventure into two parts now.

          1. Stopping Saul's plague
          2. Determining who will be Prince of the City.

          Stopping Saul's Plague

          My update for Dickie Fulcher will be after this but basically, he's on the outs with the Anarchs but not really. Maldavis discovered, well, that Dickie was a serial killer and kicked him out of her group despite their long history. Dickie, however, has managed to keep his position as the 1# Blood "Dealer" in the city.

          Due to how many new Kindred are in the city, there's a massive need for untraceable blood. Everyone is terrified of the Second Inquisition and Dickie provides blood for the Anarchs, Caitiff, and Duskborn. The latter don't really need anything more than Animal Blood but Dickie doesn't turn down money.

          Contacting Evelyn, they end up finding out Dickie has recently changed tactics and is providing LOTS AND LOTS of blood to anyone who wants it. He's already making a play for being Baron of Gary and Juggler is considering doing it since he hates Maldavis the Sell-out anyway. However Dickie is VERY popular right now and if they kill him, they will be in serious shit.

          The PCs investigate and find Dickie is working out of an Old K-Mart with a large number of guards who don't have Auras. They use their vampire powers and find the backroom of the place has been turned into a science lab with bubbling vats of organically grown blood. The PCs have no idea what the Technocracy is (nor should they). However, they listen in to Saul and Dickie before exploiting Evelyn's history to get close to Dickie.

          What follows is a John Wick-style shoot out where the PCs end up confused as fuck when one of the guards turns into the fricking Terminator. Dickie ends up trying to throw a grenade at them and they use Celerity to destroy the Hit Mark.

          This leads to an immortal line of our video game, "THERE ARE FUCKING ROBOTS NOW?"

          Some of the surviving crew there proceed to drive off with a truck the PCs manage to hijack that is full of tainted blood. They were going to use it to poison the Chicago water supply so the entire city's population of humans would end infected with the virus (asymptomatic to humans but not vampires who feed from them). At least, this is what Saul thought but there's a subplot the PCs actively miss because they failed to stop one of the vampires present.

          They proceed to capture Saul who, as a Technocrat, only can use magic with foci. He refuses to tell anything other than accuse them of being Nazis and be aggressive. The PCs to take a novel solution and the Tremere Embraces him. This destroys Saul's avatar and leaves him in a devastated emotional state that they use to Dominate answers out of him. One PC even added, "So now you become what you most despise! BWHAHAHAAH!" I think that's a reference to the Prophecy 2. Saul admits that he was trying to poison the Kindred of the City. As far as Dickie knew, he was a ghoul that had discovered a way to replicate human blood that was every bit as nutritious as well nourishing as human blood. The players let Dickie go despite how much they know about him (that he's a monster) but say he owes them. Dickie, surprisingly, WILL remember the favor.

          The PCs debate destroying the Progenitor blood vats but instead decide the potential use for the Kindred of the city outweighs it. They proceed to make arrangements to have the items taken and hope to work some Tremere magic to get them operating. It's 90% science anyway so it's entirely possible. However, before they can go, unmarked helicopters and four teams of Special Forces break in. This group of the Second Inquisition, though, doesn't want to kill them.

          They want to speak with them.
          Last edited by CTPhipps; 11-12-2018, 11:34 PM.


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

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          • Dickie Fulcher
            8th Generation Caitiff

            He's the Gilles De Rais to Maldavis' Joan of Arc.
            -Anita Wainwright

            Be careful what you wish for.

            Since the failed Chicago Anarch Revolt, Dickie Fulcher has been living underground and thanks to his powerful Obfuscate he outlived Lodin as well as survived the Lupine attacks of 1999. Dickie became much more active during the subsequent confusion over whether or not a new Prince would emerge. He privately hoped Maldavis would achieve the title, caring little whether the woman he loved (platonically) was ruler of Chicago as an Anarch or a Camarilla stooge.

            Before the return of Lodin, there was actual plans to have her installed as a puppet of the Primogen that Dickie supported. Unfortunately, the Primogen chose to go with their flesh-sculpted puppet instead. This was the final straw and Dickie prepared to assassinate the Primogen with an ill-conceived but very tabletop-esque gas truck explosion straight out of Near Dark. Maldavis stopped him but whereas he expected a slap on the wrist, she asked him a simple question:

            "How many Kine have you killed since the revolt? Innocents?"

            Son had learned of the destruction of the Primogen plan early and spread it to everyone else. Amused at Dickie's presumption and liking the man's style, he nevertheless felt it necessary to punish the Caitiff. So, Son revealed to Maldavis Dickie had murdered close to two hundred humans over the past fifty years. The Suburban Ripper, The Thomastown Murder Suicides, The Suburban Opiod Ring, and a half-dozen other cover ups done by Sheriff had all been Dickie's childish habit of breaking into suburban households, living with them for months, and then finally kiling them.

            Dickie's explanation didn't work because there could be no explanation. Maldavis had found her closest friend was the worst of Kindred save perhaps Son himself. He couldn't help himself, though, as he felt that killing people like the kind that he despised growing up was the only way to vent his anger. The fact he was close to Wassail and had killed children among his many victims left Maldavis disgusted. She proceeded to cut him out of her life and spread the word about what sort of monster he was.

            This proved to be colossally bad timing for Maldavis as Lodin (II) captured Dickie soon afterward and proceeded to laugh it up with him. Being a former Sabbat, Lodin found Dickie's actions quaint compared to some of the shit he'd been exposed to. Discovering Lodin (I) was dead left Dickie broken as he didn't even have the man he hated left to vent his anger against. Dickie was released by Lodin (II) and found himself looking for a new cause.

            That was when Juggler arrived.

            Juggler needed someone who he could trust and wouldn't be overly persuaded by Maldavis. Also, someone who was ruthless and utterly without remorse. A violent psychopath who, in all respects, would be his Sheriff equivalent. Dickie, having no better offers, did so and soon found himself kidnapping people to provide blood for the Kindred of Chicago. Not all of it comes from victims, illegal blood-for-cash businesses being common in the black market of Chicago, but he also was involved in other jobs he'd previously disdained: human trafficking, organ legging, and other unpleasantness that made his boss a lot of money.

            Dickie, currently, hates himself and while he loves planning for the revolution against the Camarilla--it's a victory which is ashes in his mouth. Even if he manages to overthrow the Prince, it's not a Prince he particularly hates and Juggler is just as slimy as any Camarilla stooge. His hunger is also too strong. It will consume him in the next few years.

            He doesn't care.


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

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            • Session 17: The Primogen Putsch

              Basically, I felt that Lodin's current situation was one that wasn't entirely sustainable so I decided to do this adventure about a vote of no-confidence. Lodin II saw this coming and has basically emptied his (well, Lodin's) bank accounts and has adopted another vision. He does this while pretending to go out on business. He'll show up again, perhaps as Horatio Ballard or Peterson but is smart enough to get while the getting is good.

              This effectively leaves only two candidates for Prince at this point with Modius and Maldavis. This is tricky because I am very much of the school of thought that the Prince only exists to make the players' lives miserable. They are fundamentally THE MANtm and THE MANtm can never be a friend to the players. However, it's a careful balance you always have to strike because eventually the Prince will go too far and the player characters will either:

              1. Want to take them out, damn the consequences
              2. Leave town

              Making Modius Prince would help with an antagonistic Prince but he's also the professional Joke CharacterTM that prevents him from being a great antagonist. Maldavis is still way too nice to be Prince and probably couldn't pull off the job. Dark horse candidates I took consideration for were Capone, Jackson (which I wish I'd done), and Dusable. The player characters then decide they will make their OWN bid for Princedom, using Critias' information and the fact they've got the shockingly effective argument of, "We're not these guys and we're solving a blood plague. Also, we just stopped two apocalypses in recent months."

              The conversation outside the Chicago Museum of Art are interesting as they discuss supporting one candidate over the other and how to potentially pitch their idea. It occupuies most of the night with some crazy ideas following:

              * Talk about preparing Kindred for coming out in a modern age.
              * Causing a Blood Plague of infectious polyphyria so Kindred can easier hide among mortals (That escalated quickly)
              * Replace Son with a Malkavian friend of theirs on the Primogen (they're metagaming here as they have no reason to believe Son is a Humanity 0 monster)
              * Try to convince the Primogen of Chicago to reform the Camarilla in Chicago with themselves as the new Inner Council (Critias would have been good for this)
              * Everyone agrees Nazis are bad and fuck em (while planning a blood plague)

              In the end, they settle on pitching the latter and go on inside. It's there they finally get to meet Dieter the Nazi. I do my very best NOT to portray him as a Sabbat stereotype but have him be a more David Duke pleasant and congenial sort that just so happens to be able to cover up his appalling beliefs. He's on the Path of Honorable Accord (Nazi version) and really just wants to settle into Chicago with his coterie--or so he claims. The players, seeing a Nazi, don't give him the time of day.

              This is where the adventure splits into a THIRD part as Shejana has been plotting to kill Dieter this entire time but has found out the Final Reich's plan. They kidnapped Karl Schrekt when he was leaving the Tremere chantry and are going to Blood Bond him. When that's done, they are going to have HIM assume the Princedom and then slowly turn the city into their Sabbat-esque paradise of embraced white supremecists.

              So, the players split up with some staying to announce their candidacy for Prince and others to go rescue Karl.

              Right before they leave, though, they have an encounter with Menele who offers them a deal. With Helene gone, he's more or less in charge of the city and plans to make a new Carthage. He'll support them if they're willing to support him. It basically means they won't be Prince but Menele will be but he can handle their problems.

              They agree.

              Which means, really, their meeting with the Primogen afterward has now become perfunctory. They've chosen a side in the Chicago Jyhad (unaware Helene isn't as gone as they think)


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

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              • Session 18: Entering Son's Asylum

                Dieter's Master Plan

                Unsurprisingly, the Final Reich has been playing everyone the entire time. My games are often full of twists and turns that even I don't entirely know about. It's in my notes that somehow they managed to actually find out about Saul's little plan and had contaminated the blood supply he was going to poison the city with (ironically, spreading porphyry like the players came with up on their own in a completely unrelated plot).

                But that never was found out by the players.

                They also had brought their huge fortune to give to Modius so he could waste all of his political capital bribing individuals not to care about their settling into the city. The Final Reich never was going to tolerate Modius as their superior, though, and they kidnapped Karl Screkt so they can put a Germanic dictator in charge of the city so they could purge it. Son, because Son is Son, figured all of this out and offered them the use of his asylum so they could funnel in some Neo-Nazi Sabbat war packs and prepare for a mass embrace. This is more a fallback plan than anything because they fully expect the rest to work so they won't need to takeover Chicago the old fashioned way. The only problem with this is Son's mansion is haunted.

                Our Players Go to Hell

                Shejana leads our player characters to Son's asylum, formerly Maureen O'Leary's, and they soon find themselves feeling something is TERRIBLY WRONG there. The ghosts of Son's many victims over the years have turned the Asylum into a haunt. The Nazi's presence has made it much worse and Karl has been trying to harness that power despite being staked and all he's done is aggravate it.

                It doesn't make sense, rules wise, but really I just wanted a big "bang for my buck" ending where the player characters enter the place and it's already looking like Silent Hill. Shejana gets possessed by one of the Wraiths there and soon powerful illusions make the place like hell where player characters see dead victims of the past, fight against monsters (the similarly hallucinating Sabbat), and spirits spill out as the Veil is torn.

                In the end, after their encounters, they find all of Dieter's group killed and the place on fire. They brave Rotschrek and save Schrekt.

                Meeting with Project: Daylight

                The player characters who went after Saul are brought to a skyscraper which contains a branch of Elon Musk's space company, a cryogenics lab, and a few other tech industries. They are then introduced to Alex who is a Son of Ether from our mage game and a nice cameo for my experienced players. A short version of Alex is he's always been the "Reasonable" Technocrat up until his defection. Now he's ironically allied with the Technocracy, Virtual Adepts, Order of Hermes, Sons of Ether, and Celestial Choir in vampire hunting.

                The player characters, which include one ex-Mage, hear that basically Alex wants them to negotiate on behalf of the Camarilla and sign up a treaty which neither side can know about. The Union doesn't exist anymore or at least has fragmented into pieces with the biggest mage group around actually being those sorcerers united behind Project: Daylight. This would mean vampires were doomed except for the fact they've discovered a massive spike in demonic activity (Demon: The Fallen), new threats from the Umbra (Threat: Null), and cultists that are heavily involved in the economics of the world (Pentex). Basically, without vampires, worse things are filling the power vacuum. Alex and his people can't STOP the Second Inquisition but they can redirect it.

                Vampires will become a low priority if they aren't monstrous psychopaths like the Sabbat or breaking the Masquerade. The Anarchs won't be covered by this treaty but any future Camarilla will and as long as vampires act under the radar then they'll probably be asumed to such.

                The Union's Remnants would rather no one believe in vampires and the vampires cover that up than the entire crazy World of Darkness come out to the public then end civilization as we know it. The player characters accept this deal but do me proud by also demanding personal bribes to do it.

                *sniff* They are true vampires.

                The Finale

                A VERY pissed off Karl arrives at the Primogen meeting, accuses Son and Karl and Modius of collusion and they're all unhappy about the results. Son slips away with Obfuscate, leaving his position, while Dieter challenges Karl only to have the players declare a Blood Hunt on the Nazi. He's promptly killed by Anarchs attending the event in a fit of diablerie. Karl endorses the new Prince, solidifying their power and Modius? Modius offers the players half the money he stole from the Nazis in exchange for his life.

                They take it.

                So, Modius will just have to content himself with almost a hundred million dollars in Nazi stolen gold. His prestige, ironically, goes up as while allying with Nazis is gauche--it shows Modius is actually a capable elder.

                This would be a good place to end the campaign with the PCs taking over the city.

                But...oh no, not even close.


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

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                • Here's a summary of my update to Chicago by Night for 5E.

                  1. The city was ruled by Prince Lodin (II) who is an homage to the Sabbat regent plot in that he's ACTUALLY a 12th generation Tzimisce named Paul Hernandez who escaped the Gehenna Crusade. Critias and the other Primogen put him up to be their catspaw and puppet-ruler, only for the half which knew he was a fake to be Beckoned and him becoming PRINCE FOR REAL. He's obnoxious and enjoyed the money, vessels, and petty cruelty working for the Camarilla guarantees.

                  Eventually, he fled during an outbreak of an anti-Kindred disease and too many people knowing who he was.

                  2. Juggler is the current head of the Anarchs in Chicago and fully intent on either leading them into a massive revolt that will get most of them slaughtered or betraying them outright. Having been heavily bribed by Lodin, he's been keeping them all placated with mindless platitudes and pointless targets while they've had their numbers thinned by conflict, exile, and other works. He is aware he can't ride this train forever but is happy to keep enjoying his 100,000K a month lifestyle.

                  3. Rather than Prince, Kevin Jackson is planning on taking over the Anarchs. Realizing that he would never be accepted among the Camarilla and the Anarchs have the collective IQ of a bag full of hammers (in his opinion), he proceeded to start gathering his forces and infiltrating the group. He plans on making a formal takeover after he eliminates Capone. He's not sure whether he'll go "Baron", "Boss", "Chairman", or "President."

                  4. Critias is currently held prisoner by the 2nd Inquisition and trying to talk his way out of it. His disappearance altered the power structure of Chicago significantly as it provided him with time to think about events in the city and realize his sire was present.

                  Eventually, the PCs rescued him.

                  5. Menele is actually still in Chicago while Helena has succumbed to the Beckoning. This has resulted in Menele planning to make it his "Third City." His sire is influencing his thoughts and warping his mind so that it's becoming increasingly unhinged as he's started to debate inviting the Baali to live in Chicago as well as working with werewolves. The Inconnu could help him but he'd have to leave everyone behind.

                  6. Alphonse Capone was badly injured by the Second Inquisition but has ascended to the throne of Primogen and Clan head of the Ventrue. Unfortunately, his soul is sick of the relentless murder and chaos of recent nights with a woman he loved (or believed he did) being killed in a petty dispute. Alphonse desperately wants to get out of the intrigue of the Jhyad but has no idea how to do so.
                  He's too recognizable an individual and the Ventrue clan too tight.

                  7. The Second Inquisition is actually primarily taking the disguise in America with the Bureau of Public Health and Safety, which is a Department of Homeland Security section that pretends there's an outbreak of porphyria across the nation that they have to burn away. The organization is actually corrupt around Chicago and Lodin has an agent in it. However, agents are still gathering information in the city.

                  8. Bobby Weatherbottom is making use of this time and his new Information Warfare company to prepare to destroy all their digital information (he's being aided by the Virtual Adepts who see this as a Technocracy weapon). He's also going to use his overt attack to hide Blood magic-enhanced spyware which will make it easier for Kindred to communicate.

                  9. Maldavis has become the leader of the Circulatory System in Chicago, realizing that the best way to regain her power base is by feeding the many Kindred refugees currently in the city. This has involved her coming into conflict with other members of the group who are less scrupulous than she is, like Brett Stryker and her former friend Dickie who acquire vessels for Kindred without regard to the lives lost.

                  The player characters eventually struck gold, acquiring a set of Technocracy vats designed to regulate human blood (for a plan to poison them) that they gave to her for a generous cut of the prophets. This has dramatically reduced the "carbon footprint" of Kindred in Chicago. She is presently the Primogen for the City's Caitiff and basically pretends the whole split from the Camarilla never happened.

                  10. Annabelle was so terrified of the Beckoning, she's taken to feeding on Thin Bloods in order to stave it off due to some snail oil sold her as a means of doing so. Ironically, she's shown no signs of needing it. The PCs eventually exposed this and got her enmity.

                  11. Modius has regained much of his lucidity thanks to, of all people, Son. He's now become Keeper of Elysium and running the "Old Camarilla Club." The eccentric Elder has become something of a but of a lot of jokes as his solutions are basic conservative Camarilla doctrine repeated ad nauseum. He is, however, vicious and evil with his position as a willing puppet to the Primogen enough to prime him to be Prince.


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

                  Comment


                  • One more adventure:

                    One more adventure and the current Chronicle is over.

                    Why?

                    Because we have to make a decision now.

                    As awesome as this game is, there's the inevitable element that means we're drawing to a close in the fact that I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to Time of Troubles this bad boy. What does
                    that mean?

                    Basically, the short version is that having access to the Backer Set of Chicago by Night, that means I'm going to have the full version of Chicago by Night 5E by the end of the month. Which means I should probably bring my game in line with that of canon.

                    Well, as much as possible since Horatio Ballard died in 2004 at my players hands along with Jacob Schumpeter. Sheriff was apparently killed in this campaign as well.

                    So, yes:

                    * New Prince
                    * New Primogen
                    * Helena returns
                    * Menele disappears (perhaps killed)

                    Is it the right decision?

                    I dunno but there's a shared language of sticking as close as possible to canon as you can and the work done for 5E Chicago by Night has so far been spectacular.


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

                    Comment


                    • FINISHED the first Chronicle and it ended where it should...confronting Helena.

                      I'll do a write-up now and finish this collection off and we're going to resume with a new Chronicle and a time-skip where I can hopefully use the new book to get rid of my 2nd Edition habits.

                      I had one of the players RPG Helena during this as she's an occasional co-ST.

                      She gave this wonderful little speech summarizing the character:

                      =====

                      WHO IS HELENA

                      "Am I a monster, a victim, or a heroine? The answer is the two are not mutually exclusive. I could tell you my story. I was the daughter of Zeus, or so my mother told me. I was presented to a vampire to keep him from preying on our kingdom. I was ghouled, raped repeatedly, and then changed before blood bound--only to diablerize him because I was the daughter of a god and only another god could control me. Which my sire's sire could."

                      "I ran away with my lover, eventually reaching Carthage. I watched that city go from a shining utopia of wise philosopher kings to depraved demon-worshiping Baali. I betrayed it to the Ventrue and built a new city....what you'd call a tourist trap....in Pompey. Menele, who I was once married to, brought down the wrath of Hephaestus and the Romans called his wrath a Vulcano. I sought revenge for two thousand years after, driving Menele from Constantinople with the 4th Crusade and then destroying the Aztecs before the Incans."

                      "That was after I helped found Paris and the Camarilla both. Eleanor of Aquitane, Madame Pompedour, and the grandsire of Marie Antoinette were my childer. I built Chicago with my foe, both of us wanting the other dead but desperate to have a legacy of beauty to counteract our evil. I put Lodin in power as well as Richard Nixon. I supported Civil Rights and arranged Woodstock with my mind but also ordered a convention's participants beaten down. I am contradictions. What do I want, though? I want to live by any means necessary because I never could have survived this long if I didn't."


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

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                        One more adventure:

                        One more adventure and the current Chronicle is over.

                        Why?

                        Because we have to make a decision now.

                        As awesome as this game is, there's the inevitable element that means we're drawing to a close in the fact that I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to Time of Troubles this bad boy. What does
                        that mean?

                        Basically, the short version is that having access to the Backer Set of Chicago by Night, that means I'm going to have the full version of Chicago by Night 5E by the end of the month. Which means I should probably bring my game in line with that of canon.

                        Well, as much as possible since Horatio Ballard died in 2004 at my players hands along with Jacob Schumpeter. Sheriff was apparently killed in this campaign as well.

                        So, yes:

                        * New Prince
                        * New Primogen
                        * Helena returns
                        * Menele disappears (perhaps killed)

                        Is it the right decision?

                        I dunno but there's a shared language of sticking as close as possible to canon as you can and the work done for 5E Chicago by Night has so far been spectacular.

                        Well, I think ending a successful chronicle where both the ST and the players are still having fun just to be in line with a new book is a mistake. Canon is just a shared framework to build your own world and for fans to endlessly, and hopefully good naturedly, bicker about. A setting update is just new optional material to work with. So I'd say ending your chronicle just to adhere to new canon is the wrong decision. Of course, from your recaps.... You've had a hell of a lot of stuff happen with your characters and it seems that your game is reaching a natural conclusion. Ending your chronicle and starting up a new one because the current run has run its course story-wise is perfectly fine and far better then just letting it fade away. I had a very long running game just fade without any closure and it sucked.


                        Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                        FINISHED the first Chronicle and it ended where it should...confronting Helena.

                        I'll do a write-up now and finish this collection off and we're going to resume with a new Chronicle and a time-skip where I can hopefully use the new book to get rid of my 2nd Edition habits.

                        I had one of the players RPG Helena during this as she's an occasional co-ST.

                        She gave this wonderful little speech summarizing the character:

                        =====

                        WHO IS HELENA

                        "Am I a monster, a victim, or a heroine? The answer is the two are not mutually exclusive. I could tell you my story. I was the daughter of Zeus, or so my mother told me. I was presented to a vampire to keep him from preying on our kingdom. I was ghouled, raped repeatedly, and then changed before blood bound--only to diablerize him because I was the daughter of a god and only another god could control me. Which my sire's sire could."

                        "I ran away with my lover, eventually reaching Carthage. I watched that city go from a shining utopia of wise philosopher kings to depraved demon-worshiping Baali. I betrayed it to the Ventrue and built a new city....what you'd call a tourist trap....in Pompey. Menele, who I was once married to, brought down the wrath of Hephaestus and the Romans called his wrath a Vulcano. I sought revenge for two thousand years after, driving Menele from Constantinople with the 4th Crusade and then destroying the Aztecs before the Incans."

                        "That was after I helped found Paris and the Camarilla both. Eleanor of Aquitane, Madame Pompedour, and the grandsire of Marie Antoinette were my childer. I built Chicago with my foe, both of us wanting the other dead but desperate to have a legacy of beauty to counteract our evil. I put Lodin in power as well as Richard Nixon. I supported Civil Rights and arranged Woodstock with my mind but also ordered a convention's participants beaten down. I am contradictions. What do I want, though? I want to live by any means necessary because I never could have survived this long if I didn't."
                        Great speech!
                        Last edited by Anarade Relle; 11-13-2018, 05:04 AM.

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                        • Well,

                          It's more of a soft reboot. In fact, the chronicle has been an enormous success and it'd be wrong to stop it now. Usually, by now, the chronicles are already dying down a bit and wanting to switch around or breaking away but everyone is extremely excited about things. However, the situation is that I've had quite a few issues "dusting off" the chronicles.

                          Basically, this campaign has been full of Gehenna, Antediluvians, crazy ass plotlines, and threats to the entire Camarilla. This is stuff I definitely love and have formed the basis of my "Transitioning to 5E" thread. However, it feels very much like I just started my "lead-up to Gehenna" campaign from 2004 and it has some of the elements I've never cared for like Tremere/Goratrix, Ur-Shulgi, and big epic battles in Mexico City.

                          It sort of misses the idea of 5E which is meant to be a back to basics sort of thing. I don't want to start the chronicle over and my players would revolt if I tried but I'm going to try to pull everything back with a time skip. It'll still be set in the same campaign timeline but it'll be after things have settled down a bit more.

                          The players have indicated they think I may just be worrying about nothing and that if everyone is having fun then there's nothing to worry about. Also, no one necessarily wants to go down to the Succubus Club and drink a glass of blood while bemoaning their humanity. However, I will say that Kevin Jackson taking over as Prince and establishing a sudden divide between the Anarchs, Camarilla, and other forces in the city would be a great way of making things good as a new status quo.

                          Honestly, I might just forego declaring it a "new" Chronicle and just say its' the next adventure.

                          But I AM BIG AND DRAMATIC!


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

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                          • That sounds pretty cool. Time skips are great for making changes!

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                            • Session 19: The Finale

                              The New Dusk in Chicago

                              The Kindred world is trying to rebuild itself with everything going smoothly for a long time. One of the player characters is acting Prince, the Thin Bloods are going to be educated about their existence, the government looks like it's going to lose its Technocracy patronage (even if it's not and never HAS been the primary backing of the Second Inquisition), and the Antediluvians are people Menele (their new patron) can worry about for them. It's meant to be a new status quo for Kindred in Chicago.

                              So, of course, I have to fuck it up.

                              Enter Sasha Vykos.

                              Hehehe.

                              OOC Reasons

                              It's at this point that I've finally managed to get my hands on Chicago by Night 5E (or most of the book by now) with the help of donating a couple of tiers to decide the fate of Prince Maxwell and insert some canon characters into things. This means that everything I've done, notes wise is now for an Alternate Universe. This is GOOD but not GREAT as I like to keep my games close to the canon universe as it benefits things. This is clearly not completely true as I just killed Ur-Shulgi and the Sabbat in Mexico as part of my big explosive Michael Bay-esque chronicle here that was not how I wanted the game to go. I've had Tiamat destroyed, the Berlin by Night adventure adapted with Anatole playing Caine, and more.

                              My OOC reasoning is that I introduced Gehenna into the game and I've needed to RESOLVE Gehenna in a way that was dramatically satisfying. That and my peculiar habit of adapting "bad" (or at least kooky adventures) meant the power creep was ridiculously over the top. This game has been more, essentially, a localized Transylvania Chronicles than Chicago by Night and I need to figure out how get out of my old 2nd Edition habits. Bringing the setting in line with the gameworld as produced by Onyx Path on the Kickstarter seems a good way of doing it. All the players being Backers means they can familiarize themselves with the the material.

                              I, as a matter of courtesy, checked with the newly crowned PC Prince's player to make sure they're okay with having their character lose the city almost as soon as they've gotten it. They're surprisingly amendable as they don't really want to play the kind of political games the position warranted. It was just in-character for them to try to replace Lodin II versus surrendering the city to Modius or one of the other canddiates.

                              I'm glad of that because Maldavis would make a terrible Prince as well, at least from a dramatic standpoint.


                              Opening: Meeting with Frend Trump, 9th Generation Ventrue

                              Yes, the President's father is a vampire. It's actually NOT me engaging in some satire like my player characters continually are egging me on to do (Modius will make the Camarilla Great Again!) but the fact I needed a new Horatio Ballard figure as the Ventrue's chief financial advisor for a single scene. Fred seemed like a fairly decent sort of historical figure for this as a visiting Kindred from New York who also would be "young" enough to show the Camarilla has a lot of new spaces opening up.

                              In this universe, FYI, Fred was sired by Ballard.

                              I can't use Ballard, himself, because one of my early adventures was the PCs of these particular characters killing Horatio at the behest of Lawrence Ballard. They also killed Jacob Schumpeter. I mention in the converstaion that Ballard's death was a leading cause of the 2008 Financial Crisis and that his death was a major part of why the Second Inquisition got out of control because he managed the entire America Camarilla's money through his puppets.

                              In any case, the PC Prince and Fred meet at an upper floor of the Seers' Tower in a restaraunt that doesn't exist in RL but is called The Mile High Club in-game. They are discussing rebuilding the Camarilla now that Chicago is stable and relatively humane. Fred wants a bigger role for the Ventrue in the city and suggests the PC fire most of their existing staff to put Ventrue in charge because, otherwise, they'll revolt. He states Kevin Jackson is the biggest threat they have to their reign as he's going to try to join the faction hoping to take the Camarilla into a much more militant fashion.

                              Then Sasha Vykos kills Fred.

                              I feel like this was a waste of a potentially interesting character but I needed a big dramatic moment to open up the revelation of Vykos' existence. Vykos appears, having been impersonating a waiter, and then reveals that every patron in the diner is completely under their control or a Sabbat vampire.

                              OOC How I handle Vykos

                              I don't really care that much for the Tzimisce in general but they make excellent villains if you want to immediately esablish, "This vampire is a sadistic fucker and probably completely evil." I choose to play up Vykos as less of a bizarre body-modification transhumanist, though, and more their role as a erstwhile Mad Scientist and Sorcerer. They still use Vicissitude to shift between male, female, and "golden dragon hermaphrodite" forms at will but I'd say they're more personally a Old Clan Tzimisce in attitude.

                              Canonically, I've also avoided ever referring to Vykos as trans. My Vykos is gender fluid and self-identifies as whatever is conveinant at the time. I've had transexual non-crazypants Tzimisce as player characters I've run (one being a Lucita fangirl) so it's kind of a pet peeve. I also have trans players at my table who think of Vykos as a great villain but nothing remotely identifiable.

                              Vykos is Vykos, nothing more or less.


                              I should mention Sasha Vykos is dead at the player character's hands in a game from a V20 game and they made "really-really sure" that they killed h/er last time. However, such was the characters' popularity, when they arrived in-universe there was no doubt that somehow they'd cheated death like the Joker and no one complained. Indeed, it was really welcomed like my fake Lodin as a good villain is hard to keep down.

                              Anyway, Vykos is back from the Middle East and informs the PC that the Gehenna Wars were a colossal failure: except, not QUITE as bad as they think. The Sabbat has lost all of its "dead wood" and been reduced to "just" the Black Hand. They have, however, diablrized hundreds of Elders and destroyed many Methuselahs. The PCs have also done their own damage with Tiamat, Ur-Shulgi, Shaitan (however much that cost them) and fighting demons. Vykos is sure the Sabbat can't beat the Antediluvians in this situation and they're retreating.

                              So Vykos wants to use Chicago to rebuild the Sabbat. Unfortunately, the PCs have killed Edward Neally and they need a new Regent.

                              Vykos nominates themselves.

                              The PCs, surprisingly, are quite congenial company to Vykos and point out they're all enemies of the Antediluvians here.

                              Vykos then takes out their Touchstones....he's captured them all. Including the PC Prince's son.

                              Vykos makes them a deal. "Give me Chicago and you get to walk away with your human pets."

                              The Prince PC agrees before the rest do.

                              Vykos then leads them away before the rest are ordered to be killed and the BIG EPIC BRAWL ON THE TOP OF THE SEARS TOWER BEGINS. It notably ends with Vykos' chief henchman getting kicked out of a window.



                              Amusingly, I use this piece of art to illustrate the scene and that the person falling out the window is Talley.

                              Thankfully, the Sabbat scoop him up afterwards.

                              I tell my players that he would have kicked their ass all personally if not for the choice of venue and their quick thinking (Vykos had orders to drive them all into torpor but NOT kill them--they're possibly useful given the fact they saved the world a few times). However, this doesn't prove necessary as the PCs slaughter the Sabbat in the place enough to make their escape.

                              "Thank God, we don't get tired!" *takes stairs*

                              It's a joke that falls flat because one of their human touchstones is killed and its sends the character into a complete breakdown.

                              Vykos lets them leave as, well, s/he have what they want.
                              Last edited by CTPhipps; 11-16-2018, 05:43 AM.


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

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                              • Session 20: Tyrant Takes the Helm

                                I always like to use different calibers of villains and that is something that allows you to have fun with who is the top-tier versus who is lovably awful like Modius. In this case, the PCs find themselves with a Blood Hunt against their asses. "Yolanda" has since been replaced by Vykos themselves and they've invited plenty of their supporters as well as friends to meet with her only to proceed to lock them in a steel-lined room that was full of naplam.

                                Vykos is basically a supervillain so this is how s/he rolls.

                                Their contacts also tell them that there's a lot of other stuff going on:

                                1. There's a weird sense of power loss among Kindred everywhere and people are wanting the Kindred doctor to investigate.
                                2. The Camarilla has finally gotten its ass into gear and reformed itself in Paris. They've called for all Brujah, Gangrel, and Caitiff to swear allegiance to the Camarilla or be banished permanently. The collective response has been "fuck you." Sometimes with literal heads rolling.
                                3. The Ministry has been denied its membership in the sect. Their friend Anubis is missing, presumed dead.
                                4. The Banu Haqim have decided to go ahead and join the Camarilla as, unfortunately, the Web of Knives has started slaughtering them in the late-Ur-Shulgi's name. Most of their leadership has been beckoned anyway.
                                5. The Anarchs slaughtered the surviving Kindred of Las Vegas and took it over while taking over other Camarilla cities. It's something suspciously similar to a Sabbat Crusade with Jeremy MacNeil leading it. The Anarchs have gone from zeros to a massive threat overnight.
                                6. The PC Prince is still missing as is their son.
                                7. Karl Schrekt has gone to Vienna to investigate the return of "Merlinda" and the claiims she's fiixed the problem of leadership in the Pyramid. [ST: It's Kupala--which is NOT going to end with the PCs confronting another archdemon in Antediluvian form.]
                                So, it's all gone to shit.

                                The player characters, somewhat industrially, have taken over a cheap motel in Gary and have been holed up there the entire time. They've gotten their loved ones out of town and are trying to figure out their next move.This is bigger than Vykos and they're not about to let the biggest city in America fall to the Sabbat again.

                                (Except, that it already has)

                                Anita Wainwright is the PC's only trusted point of contact because I am hugely fond of that character. She is the source of the information and, with reluctance, confirms that the Anarchs ARE planning to attack Chicago and slaughter everyone still loyal to the Camarilla.

                                So the PCs decide to join the Anarchs formally. Anita Wainwright, who just wanted them to leave the city, is pleased by this and perhaps a little gullible. However, she owes them big time and they are "okay for Cammies" (plus considered folk heroes by the Anarchs for all the shit they've done in past years).
                                Anita gives them a place where the army is assembling: Milwaukee. The PCs decide that if the Camarilla has turned on them...AGAIN...their only option is the Anarchs. After Anita leaves, they get an unexpected visitor.

                                Menele!

                                WHO BRINGS BAD NEWS!

                                (of course)

                                Menele is someone who should be our players' ally and help them take down Vykos but Menele reveals that he's finally WON his battle against Helena. It just required him making a pact with the Devil, literally. Menele made a deal with his sire, Troile, and is now coming to fight her enemies in the Middle East. The deal allowed him to be reinforced against the Withering and easily overwhelmed Helena but has probably cost him any chance of achieving Golconda. Helena, however, is now stuck with only 5's in her stats like so many other Elders.

                                And Menele, in a final act of contempt, dumps her staked body in a bodybag at the player's feet as a consoliation prize. Kill her, eat her, enslave her, Menele no longer cares. He's aware he's made a terrible mistake but he can't resist his sire anymore.

                                And then he's gone.

                                The player characters then humorously turn around and go.

                                "Okay, what the hell do we do with a goddamned 4th generation vampire?"

                                That's when there's ANOTHER knock on the door.

                                It's Evelyn Stephens and a new character named Chaz. They need the player's help as Vykos has their friends....IN A GLADIATOR GAME!

                                What Happened to the Prince

                                Vykos is a sadistic bastard and nothing pleases them more than tearing down people who cling to their humanity as well as a sense of loss for the old world. So, in this case, they took the Prince's identity and released their son unharmed. However, the Prince themselves was put inside a nightmarish little "Tranquility Lane" (Fallout 3) scenario where inside a Milwaukee warehouse set up to look like a suburban household film set, they have been torturing them.

                                Every day, Dominated mortals Vicissituded to look like their family are killed by Sabbat "having fun" as the Prince is dominated into forgetting they're a vampire (they obviously feel very under the weather).

                                It's one big homage to slasher movies but it has a bigger goal in mind a Vykos has been filming these events. The Antediluvians are nigh and s/he feels that they need all the allinaces they can get. So, the "games" they've been doing in their facility are going to be used as entertainment for a massive one-time-only offer of a mass embrace...of the richest, nastiest people in America.

                                I directly reference Ashwood Abbey from Requiem and state its WOD counterpart is run by Pentex executives, Revenants, Giovanni, and more. They're not all onboard with the plan to be embracd by Vykos' people but he figures he can convince them afterward.

                                The adventure hook here is the memory-less prince experiencing the horror of losing their family (again) but this time frenzying and being rescued.
                                But by who?
                                Last edited by CTPhipps; 11-16-2018, 08:29 AM.


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

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