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V5 - Planning my Chicago by Night 2018 chronicle

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  • #46
    I admit, my latest Tremere session (the two groups of players are in the same world but haven't met yet) went off the rails as those players LOVE gehenna and prophecy stuff. I ended up having Tremere/Goratrix show up to spout the revised history of the clan, Salubri elements, and Gehenna prophecy. Okay, that was a bit weird.

    (Sometimes you just have antedeluvians show up!)

    I SHOULD HAVE USED ANATOLE!
    Last edited by CTPhipps; 09-08-2018, 01:58 PM.


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

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    • #47
      I think @TheGentlemanGamer will like this one. It's wild enough and continuity heavy to be up his alley.

      "Portia"

      Beckett's Jyhad Diary proved to be an enormous pain in the ass for Helene. So much more than she ever assumed as she didn't expect the Gangrel to share this information, it to be publicly disseminated, and all of her careful planning blown to shreds. The Toreador clan sent representatives to find a woman a good half of Europe's Degenerates were descended from--only to discover she'd murdered dozens of 5th and 6th Generation summoned to feed her insatiable Methuselah's Thirst. The Camarilla soon added her to the Red List and Helene was forced to flee her Jyhad against Menele.

      All because of a damn book.

      Nature abhors a vacuum, though, and Portia soon reappeared. Claiming to be a young neonate kept staked and imprisoned in Helene's haven, Portia "Galatas" soon became the vibrant life of the party which has since become famous around the city for her wild, degenerate parties that put Helene's to shame. She's also become something of a fixer as well with every Kindred Portia sits down with being able to share their deepest, darkest, most emotional secrets. This is due to the fact Portia is an imposter, a fact that quite a few people have already figured out. The prevailing theories being a Ravnos, a Obfuscate talented Nosferatu, or even a Tzimsice. Few people suspect she's actually billions of years old and a water spirit from the early days of creation. Yes, Portia II is actually Gulfora the Succubus.

      The return of Lucifer in Los Angeles, the war against the Fallen, and numerous other stories involved in Demon: The Fallen resulted in the destruction of Gulfora's previous body as well as her near death at the hands of both a set of Luciferian Devils as well as a group of True Faith wielding Inquisitors (in what was a very strange alliance). Gulfora was forced to seek refuge in one of her Kindred worshipers and made him a host body before warping it into the image of a female Kindred she found suitably enticing (unaware of just what she was getting into).

      Gulfora miscalculated this badly as this action has fused her soul with her Kindred host's. The Curse of Caine has bonded them so thoroughly that she can never leave her body and if slain, will be destroyed as utterly as if her true name had been invoked. This prospect terrifies her, especially given she's only a 13th Generation Toreador (albeit with a huge number of unnatural abilities related to shapechanging, presence, and sex-based blood magic).

      This has made Portia a wildcard in the city's Jyhad since she has Occult knowledge which dates back to the days before Enoch and a near complete immunity to the Jyhad's machinations. However, the prospect of death terrifies her and she is constantly compelled to make deals as well as interfere in mortal or kindred affairs. Despite being one of the Damned (in both senses of the word), she is also a far less selfish and genocidal creature than before. Simply "just" sadistic, hateful, greedy, and hedonistic.

      Redemption is possible but unlikely.

      Notes

      * Portia is one of the few Kindred to know Primogen Son is a sadistic evil monster akin to the Beast given life (and doesn't care, obviously).
      * Genghis is actively in love with her and believes she's his girlfriend.
      * Portia maintains the Blush of Life merit.
      * Since she no longer has a use for souls, she generally makes deals that result in some sort of calamity for someone as it amuses her. Innocent, guilty, or not matters little to her.
      * Portia desires to be freed of her current existence but knows any demon would exploit her situation or destroy her.
      * Fusions like the one Gulfora had with her host are not possible--yet it happened.


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

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      • #48
        Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

        Even then, the majority of their hunting consists of "identify Kindred resting place in the day", set up fire trucks around the place, then burn it down. It's a ridiculously effective strategy, particularly when there's no underground escape for a place.
        It would seem that Protean has once again become an extremely valuable commodity.

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        • #49
          Originally posted by Alucard View Post

          It would seem that Protean has once again become an extremely valuable commodity.
          Indeed.

          I've had a few of those scenarios in my games and they were extremely harrowing. "Okay, describe your haven. Uh-huh. Lovely apartment in the middle of a condo. Penthouse, really? Very safe. Bwhahahaa. You wake up to find yourself surrounded by flames in the daytime. What's your plan?"




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

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          • #50
            Session 4: Night of Prophecy

            I'm not afraid to adjust my campaign a bit and this was done by retconning the Thin Blooded girl, Heather, into being a Salubri that has been substituted among the Thin Bloods of the plotline. Mostly because it works better with the rules and can also get a bunch of interesting lore about the clan involved. This session consisted of a LOT of Gehenna prophecy and is a lot like my old Revised games because I felt like STing it and I really kind of regret doing that because I wanted to keep things street-level. However, with all the Beckoning and Gehenna War stuff, obviously I needed to address it.

            Tremere Chantry

            The first part of the adventure is done by the Tremere PCs who receive an engraved letter Medieval letter written on parchment carried by a demon in the shape of a raven. It says that Goratrix is going to be visiting their chantry. Yes, the mysteriously alive Sabbat member. The two Tremere panic a bit then reluctantly decide to just let him come without informing the Prince. They wake up at their haven only to find him snacking down on Dusable (but notably not killing him).

            We have a Memorium Flashback with one of the PCs who remembers, essentially, a condensed version of the session from Nights of Prophecy where Tremere killed the Tremere Antitribu then wiped the PCs mind of the event. Yes, we're having an Antediluvian for dinner....or perhaps the reverse. Oddly, I decide to play Tremere as surprisingly subdued and not exactly as imperious as he might have been a 1000 years ago. What follows for the rest of the session on their part is a lengthy History of Clan Tremere starting from his decision to become a vampire because his fear of death/immortality spells failing to making a pact with Kupala, going after Saulot's children, and being infected with Vicissitude.

            Technically, Tremere is here for a 'favor' which needs to be freely given and offered the PC any boon so the PCs asked, cleverly in Tremere's opinion, for "knowledge." I.e. "What the hell is going on in the gameworld?"

            I've always felt the Shadow Crusade was silly but significantly less silly if there's a reason for the Tzimisce being so corrupted and insane being linked to their lore, which I use Kupala as the reason for. Tremere actually made a pact with Saulot's soul in this game to hold Kupala down from taking over Clan Tremere before Saulot's soul vanished with Kupala then seizing Tremere's old body. So Tremere admits HE is the person who left the door to Vienna's chantry open. Also, he's the one who caused Tremere's new Clan Flaw of being able to bond no one as he wanted to destroy Kupala's link to his Clan. None of which helps with the Tzimsice as they are completely and utterly fucked, including their Antediluvian.

            He then "requests" one of the PCs for "3 days of your time" which the PCs agree to then find themselves suddenly 3 days later with the other PC dressed like a Syrian military fighter, a bag full of stolen Assamite books, and the skull of a 5th Generation Banu Haquim covered in newly enscribed runes. They also suddenly speak Arabic now. I have no idea what actually happened but it's fun to create random mysteries for later. In any case, I hope they will meet up with the rest of the PCs next session.

            Notes

            * I determined Tremere is actually Humanity 4, which makes him by far the most currently highest humanity Antediluvian.
            * While it's a cop-out that the Tzimisce are infected by something that has warped them to become complete monsters, I actually feel like the alienness from the clan and detachment lends itself to this--it's also not something that happens overnight but as an addition to the Beast.
            * Saulot is actually Lawful Good Saulot here but as an ascended Golconda like being who is no longer a physical vampire, he's as inscrutable as an angel and dead-dead.
            * None of this is probably ever going to be a major plot point as the PCs can't ever face Kupala.

            ====

            Succubus Club

            The rest of the session with the main group of PCs is significantly more on the rails but still deals with Gehenna. Heather the retconned 13th generation Salubri is dragged into the basement of the Succubus Club by the PCs who look after her.

            This next part depends on the PCs hooking up with an older original NPC of mine, Anubis, who is actually a character from one of my books (Straight Outta Fangton) adapted to V:TM. He's a Serpent of Light on a Path of Caine variant that I used to talk about Paths, Sabbat, the Black Hand, and so on without the usual Sabbat, "Grr, kill." He was meant to be played as Noble Demon (See TV tropes) versus the rest of his brutish sect and lived among the Camarilla as a spy. He was made the owner of the Succubus Club after Helene departed. He's also a longtime associate of Lucita who is there but the PCs use him as an exposition fairy whenever they need clues to their current problem or me to expound on Noddism.

            Well, he's suicidal now. Also close to the Beast with several bad frenzies as his Path rating has dipped very low due to his disgust with its tenants.

            As the PCs put aside Heather, they find out Anubis is suffering a mixture of survivor's guilt and depression due to the fact the Sabbat has been almost completely destroyed as well as Gehenna having begun. Anubis wasn't exactly welcome in the Sabbat anymore since he ended up helping the PCs destroy Vykos to acquire the Ashen Grail in the climax to a previous campaign which I, honestly, had forgotten about until I dusted off the character. Anubis also is disgusted with the fact he spent so much time worshiping the idea of a higher vampire morality but with the way the Antediluvians are behaving, they're clearly not 'gods' (evil or otherwise) but just really old blood magic capable vampires.

            The PCs discuss their own feelings on Gehenna, prophecy, and whether or not religion should play a role in how they react to their vampire condition. One of the PCs being very religious, another a scientific rationalist, and the other in-between. One of the better moments is when the PCs discuss what they can do about the Antediluvians, which is to say: "They're not omnipotent or immortal but they're not in our league either. So, we had better focus on Lodin and our current problems now."

            Eventually, they coach their old friend a bit and they convince him to find a new Touchstone (i.e. purpose in life). With a Salubri I think I may have Heather develop Obeah 5 at some point and try to restore Anubis' humanity, which may go horribly wrong or not depending on how evil I'm feeling. Lucita says that most Salubri are treated worse than Baali in Camarilla courts and while Gehenna has changed a lot of things, they should Blood Bond her and keep her under wraps. Which is me tempting them to evil.

            The PCs debate the Blood Bond a bit but Lucita points out to one of the PCs, who is a doctor, that it also could be use to compel her to use Obeah to save countless lives. Also, not to hastily throw her life away in vampirism's early throws.

            Whatever the case, the PCs have got Gehenna talk out of their system and are ready to go upstairs to return to our regularly scheduled Chicago by Night campaign.

            Notes

            * I used to be quite fond of Paths but have eventually shifted to the idea they're B.S. from a morality standpoint as it fits better with Vampire's themes the Sabbat misunderstood what they were for.
            * I tend to use a mixture of the "omnipotent" Antediluvians and trying to downplay their power. Lasombra is really-really dead, Ravnos, and Giovanni in my games. Making them vulnerable, at least in theory, feels better for the game. They are, however, 13,000 year old Sorcerers so easily able to dominate their clans and erase memories of vast wars in the Middle East.
            * The PCs have a bit of sympathy for the Sabbat, which I never expected, pointing out they were true to their word that they were ready to stop the Antediluvians at any cost. Even if it was fruitless, they did give their lives in the attempt.
            * I play Lucita for a bit of comedy, which is weird but have her occasionally throw out nonsequitors about how out of touch with humanity she is and suggesting casually brutal things. At 800 years old, she doesn't think like a human et all anymore. She also wants the PCs to save her one of her few friends left from killing themselves
            Last edited by CTPhipps; 11-12-2018, 11:38 PM.


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

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            • #51
              I got my "Session 0" mostly done (took a bit longer since I had to cover a lot of stuff with players who haven't touched the system in a decade so we have a little more to do). With that said, what I'll share right now are my plans for the individual character Preludes (still in a very rough form at the moment, but developing). A note, the players actually let me decide what Clans they would be playing as they wanted to give a better potential of me finding a suitable Sire from within the cast of NPCs in the surrounding area (not the simplest of tasks, as a lot of Kindred in the Chicago area right at the start are lower Gen than I want my PCs to be). So, assuming the offer still stands to dump my own CbN stuff in the thread, here is where I'm thinking things will go:

              Maria Martinez (13th) [Brujah] - Anita Wainwright (12th) - Went to school to become an ER nurse. Was forced into working the night of the DNC riots (Maria is 19 at the time) due to low staff availability. Saved Anita Wainwright's life and when Anita was Embraced, Maria became one of her first Touchstones. Anita ends up in a Frenzy when Maria is assaulted in 1983 and ends up draining and killing her in the process. Overwhelmed by the loss of her Touchstone, Anita ends up Embracing the lifeless girl. Dooley assists Anita with acclimating Maria to her new existence over the next few years, instilling Anarch ideology and propaganda, while allowing her to keep her night job at the hospital. Eventually they begin to fear Lodin will catch on and plan to send Maria to Gary so she might present herself to Prince Modius before returning to Chicago to strike out on her own. They have warned her to be cautious of Juggler while she is in the Gary area, as neither really trusts him. She is now on leave from the hospital to accomplish this.

              "Ocho" Jesus Gonzalez (13th) [Caitiff] - Priscilla "Madame Zharinsky" Gibbs (12th) - The young gang-banger became a target of the hunt one evening, Priscilla out looking to find a fix to dull her pain. While feeding Priscilla became enthralled by the high and was unable to resist Frenzy. Realizing she had killed Jesus, and in a stupor of the drug laced blood she had consumed from him mixed with an aching desire to prove she still had some sense free will of her own, she ended up Embracing the young man. The two spend a bloody, erotically charged evening together allowing Jesus to reach the first stages of Blood Bond (that will likely have faded by the time they next meet). The following night Madame realizes what she has done, and fearing what Keaton might do if he were to find out, let alone Prince Lodin, she explains a little to Jesus about his new condition and urges him to flee to Gary where he just might yet survive, as Prince Modius is known to be something of a pushover as it pertains to wayward Kindred.

              Cassandra "Cassey" Taylor (13th) [Gangrel] - Dietric (12th, currently "Disappeared") - The head bartender at a local biker dive bar, she is Embraced in 1990 by Dietrich on the same night as Malcolm. She is also abandoned just like her dark brother is, never truly knowing who her Sire was or why he decided to turn her. She is quickly discovered by Anthius of the Wolf Pack (potentially due to her losing control, specifics not set yet), and feeling a sense of pity for Cassey he takes her to Gary so that she does not fall under the wrath of Lodin or Tyrus. He proceeds to visit her often for the next few months in order to show her the ropes and help her get adjusted to what she has become. Eventually he explains that once she has been presented to Prince Modius she will be able to try and transition back to Chicago with more relative safety than she would otherwise have.

              Oscar "Ozzy" Crowly (13th) [Ventrue] - Karina Dobson (12th, in Washington D.C. as character is from D.C. by Night) - Up and coming mobster of Chicago. Something of a momma's boy. He was a target of the Giovanni who were looking to establish a presence in the area, as little did Ozzy know that his mother's maiden name was Milliner. These plans are discovered by Karina Dobson due to her monitoring of the Clan of Death in order to keep them from getting a foothold in D.C., she is granted permission by Prince Marcus Vitel to head to Chicago and advise Prince Lodin of the situation. Lodin sees an opportunity to get a Venture spy in Gary not notably connected to him while also damaging the plans of the Clan of Death, and has Karina go Embrace him in 1985 without the knowledge of anyone else in Chicago. Being groomed as an agent of Prince Lodin and fed propaganda of the Camarilla, with the ultimate goal of being sent to the Domain of Modius to act as something of a spy.

              ---

              This is generally the direction I am thinking of taking things as it gets all of the characters some connection to the Chicago area, and also gets them firmly dumped into Gary by the end so we can get started with the Baptism by Fire and kick off this Chronicle. Not a lot of interesting extra plot points to kick out just yet since at this point the Setting exists as it is in the books outside of these minor changes. I expect things to get interesting fairly quickly though. Would love to hear what anyone thinks of these general concepts.


              -Red
              V20 Content: Age & Potency
              V5 Content: The Masquerade, Tzimisce and Vicissitude, Loresheet: Chicago, Resonance Flavor
              Community & Project Manager, Developer at Hunters Entertainment

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              • #52
                Originally posted by Red Eye View Post
                This is generally the direction I am thinking of taking things as it gets all of the characters some connection to the Chicago area, and also gets them firmly dumped into Gary by the end so we can get started with the Baptism by Fire and kick off this Chronicle. Not a lot of interesting extra plot points to kick out just yet since at this point the Setting exists as it is in the books outside of these minor changes. I expect things to get interesting fairly quickly though. Would love to hear what anyone thinks of these general concepts.
                That is an awesome collection of characters there and all with nicely integrated backstories to canonical Chicago by Night characters. Your players did a bangup job with them, I was especially fond of how you made use of Modius.

                The Priscilla Gibbs and Anita Waynewright bits are great too.

                I also like you managed to incorporate Washington D.C. By Night into the story as well.


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

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                • #53
                  Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                  That is an awesome collection of characters there and all with nicely integrated backstories to canonical Chicago by Night characters. Your players did a bangup job with them, I was especially fond of how you made use of Modius.
                  Yea, I was really pleased with what I ended up with. As the group kept working through the steps, which I must say the Character Creation rules of V5 really promote getting players to really think of their character as a person and not just a collection of dots on a sheet, the pieces started to fall into place pretty quickly. I just had this big beaming grin on my face as I listened to them all and started taking my notes.

                  Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                  The Priscilla Gibbs and Anita Waynewright bits are great too.
                  Very cool, I was actually a little concerned with the Priscilla one, I wasn't completely confident about her background and such when I started to make the jump (I just hadn't read over her stuff much yet). I will need to try and encourage this player a little, as they had to leave early so have a bit more Character Creation left than anyone else - but basically to really get this one worked out I'll need him to grab the Addict Flaw (probably really only needs to be Level 1 of it).

                  Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                  I also like you managed to incorporate Washington D.C. By Night into the story as well.
                  Ahh, yes, this bit! So this was fun for me actually. What ended up happening was I really wanted to roll with the idea of a Ventrue who was created as a slight to the Giovanni. Looking over the Chicago, Milwaukee, and Gary characters didn't provide me with any suitable candidates for the Embrace so I just told the player to leave that blank for now and I would get it sorted out. Then I dove into the trove of details from within the setting at large until I managed to stumble onto Karina in the Ventrue genealogy chart as someone who was at least the right Generation to keep the PC in line with the rest of the group. I couldn't remember her details exactly, so I went and looked her over and found the connection I was looking for since she was influential in messing with the Giovanni over in D.C. So, while it might not make complete sense for Vitel to send Karina over to Chicago for something like this, I decided to just take the plunge and go for it as it would compliment the story far too well.

                  I'm also going to see if the player will be comfortable starting the game with a Blood Bond to Lodin since it seems thematically appropriate given the situation, but that is a hefty chip to shoulder so I'll let them skimp on it if they are really opposed.


                  -Red
                  V20 Content: Age & Potency
                  V5 Content: The Masquerade, Tzimisce and Vicissitude, Loresheet: Chicago, Resonance Flavor
                  Community & Project Manager, Developer at Hunters Entertainment

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Now for some details about Chicago's Anarch leader!

                    In simple terms, the Anarchs are boned.


                    Juggler
                    Baron of Chicago

                    Juggler's fortunes go up and down like a heart monitor.

                    Five years ago, Juggler was at his absolute nadir and was locked in a life and death struggle with Modius in the ruins of Gary [Note: as depicted in the events of the adventure module Dust to Dust]. Worse, the Neonates and Ancila he'd recruited to help him abandoned both him and Modius to deal with each other rather than assist him in finishing the old Prince off. Juggler lost the battle and realized as an exile with no trust from the Anarchs or Camarilla that he was doomed.

                    That was before the massive purge of vampires across the country as well as the destruction of the Inner Council. Juggler managed to find himself a new place among the Kindred fleeing from their homes and proceeded to take advantage of events that eliminated several of the Anarchs who had identified him as a sell-out. Because Juggler was willing to sell out and he managed to sell out big, making an offer to the miraculously resurrected Prince Lodin to take care of the Anarch problem permanently.

                    Lodin (II) had a different idea.

                    Armed with a thick bank account and a large amount of information taken from the real Lodin's old files, Juggler has since become the leader of Chicago's Anarchs. He blames the Camarilla, the Elders, the Hunters, the Sabbat, and everyone but the Anarchs themselves for the poor condition of the vampire race. He's also declared themselves free of the control of Lodin and the ruler of their own territory stretching across Chicago's Far West Side (notably, the city's poorest neighborhoods).

                    Lodin knows that destroying the Anarchs is a losing game, at least while he's not actually got a Camarilla to back him up or the real Lodin's power. Instead, he's cut the Anarchs loose and let them become self-policing like so many other Camarilla communities. Juggler uses his high Presence, low generation (8th), and decent charisma to direct the Anarchs of the city in whatever direction Lodin desires. He routinely calls rants that turns the mob loose on his and Lodins political enemies while also informing Edward Neally of everything he does.

                    With something akin to forty vampires looking to Juggler as their leader, he's actually one of the most powerful Anarch leaders in the country. Juggler generally leaves administration to Maldavis and enforcement to Damien, both of which would make far better leaders than him. He is the pretty face on a substance-less leisure suit. Occassionally, Juggler organizes meaningless strikes against Elysium and properties of the Camarilla to show "he's serious." In truth, Lodin II has successfully neutered the Anarchs in Chicago more effectively than his predecessor ever did. Juggler doesn't care as long as he keeps his Mercedes and regular payments of cash he can throw around for parties as well as impressing those around him.

                    The only problem is Juggler is known to the Second Inquisition. Lieutenant Gregory Stephens and FBI Deputy Director William Shepard have both become allies of the Bureau of Public Health and Safety. Juggler is one of the earliest vampires they identified and he's monitored nearly all times. If not for Lodin's deal with the Director of the Midwest, Juggler would not only be dead but most of his followers. He's loathed by Lieutenant Stephens, though, to the point that it's very likely the now fifty-something detective intends to take him out before he's too old to do it. That will result in a LOT of fallout.

                    Either Juggler dies and the Anarchs will want revenge as well as the illusion of Chicago's safety be shattered or Juggler kills a police detective with ties to the FBI Special Affairs Division (who have a copy of all of the BPHS' files).
                    Last edited by CTPhipps; 09-09-2018, 07:06 PM.


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

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Some thoughts:

                      * I considered Edward Neally as Prince because he's always been Lodin-lite anyway and Blood Bond made it clear he's an ENORMOUS asshole under his Smithers-like appearance. Joseph Peterson is a guy I NEVER would have thought so that's a surprise.

                      * One of my ideas for the Fake Lodin was also possibly Gordon Keaton, having learned Vicissitude from Wendy Wade who is now his lover.

                      * I considered Kevin Jackson as the leader of the Anarchs but the problem with him is that he'd do a FANTASTIC job and probably be a better Anarch Baron than Lodin was a Prince. Also, Juggler was an enormous joke in Dust to Dust.

                      Which I both liked and hated.

                      * Still working out the details of changing dynamics between all the various Anarchs in the age of the internet, social media, and activism. I think Maldavis would thrive in that area but most Kindred wouldn't.

                      * I'm thinking of Damien as being the Anarch's equivalent of the Sheriff now.
                      Last edited by CTPhipps; 09-09-2018, 07:12 PM.


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

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Originally posted by Red Eye View Post

                        Yea, I was really pleased with what I ended up with. As the group kept working through the steps, which I must say the Character Creation rules of V5 really promote getting players to really think of their character as a person and not just a collection of dots on a sheet, the pieces started to fall into place pretty quickly. I just had this big beaming grin on my face as I listened to them all and started taking my notes.
                        That's definitely an excellent way of handling it and I think you did a fantastic job.

                        Very cool, I was actually a little concerned with the Priscilla one, I wasn't completely confident about her background and such when I started to make the jump (I just hadn't read over her stuff much yet). I will need to try and encourage this player a little, as they had to leave early so have a bit more Character Creation left than anyone else - but basically to really get this one worked out I'll need him to grab the Addict Flaw (probably really only needs to be Level 1 of it).
                        I always found Priscilla Gibbs to be a useful character and I was sad she met the ax at the hands of the werewolves. The only thing I really regret about CBN 2nd Edition is they removed a lot of flavor from the setting by taking out the more "average" kindred so only the 'cool' ones remained. But yes, your PC has a good reason to look up his sire, has something to fear as an illegal embrace, and you could also make Gordon Keaton a potential enemy down the road.

                        Ahh, yes, this bit! So this was fun for me actually. What ended up happening was I really wanted to roll with the idea of a Ventrue who was created as a slight to the Giovanni. Looking over the Chicago, Milwaukee, and Gary characters didn't provide me with any suitable candidates for the Embrace so I just told the player to leave that blank for now and I would get it sorted out. Then I dove into the trove of details from within the setting at large until I managed to stumble onto Karina in the Ventrue genealogy chart as someone who was at least the right Generation to keep the PC in line with the rest of the group. I couldn't remember her details exactly, so I went and looked her over and found the connection I was looking for since she was influential in messing with the Giovanni over in D.C. So, while it might not make complete sense for Vitel to send Karina over to Chicago for something like this, I decided to just take the plunge and go for it as it would compliment the story far too well.
                        Well, I love virtually all of the Washington Cainites.

                        I'm also going to see if the player will be comfortable starting the game with a Blood Bond to Lodin since it seems thematically appropriate given the situation, but that is a hefty chip to shoulder so I'll let them skimp on it if they are really opposed.
                        One thing I've always had fun with is asking the players to roleplay out whatever degredations they are comfortable with for their PCs. They hate it when the Gamemaster does it but they're usually willing and able to do the most SICK things.

                        Anything you like about what you've read here so far.


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

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                        • #57
                          It would probably be an easier list if I tried to come up with things I didn't like that you've been tossing in here. I feel like you and I share a lot of similarity in our views of the WoD (barring minor things). For example you're take on the SI and how the Kindred are starting to actually make some traction in their fight against them is actually really good and how I would see this all playing out myself. Enough people become aware of the supernatural threat, the SI is formed and begins actively plotting against the supernatural, the first strike of the SI takes the Kindred world by surprise as they had grown too complacent and viewed Mortals as something of a non-threat as the years rolled on and so they were very effective up front, the Kindred immediately reacted with a knee jerk response to all of this which allowed for an initial slowing of the SI against them but didn't bring it to a close outright, and now the Kindred have started a more active and deliberate approach to try and quell the SI and let the cycle of history roll on.

                          I also mentioned earlier in the thread that I do really enjoy what you are doing with the whole "Fake Lodin" stuff. The approach you have taken with it seeds a lot of fun potential plot threads that I think your players will potentially have a lot of fun with (if those end up being the hooks they decide to chase - you've got a lot of them, but the Chicago Setting is pretty good for that organically right out of the gate). This whole concept just plays on a number of themes that I think are a perfect fit for VtM.

                          On the flip side, I actually take the Sabbat a little bit differently than you do - but only marginally. I see a lot of the remaining Sect serving in a way not dissimilar to fundamentalist religious individuals in an environment where they are fading out - they are in the shadows looking to corrupt and turn the enemy to their side from within. The ones who are still around have realized the old tactics are not sufficient to see the cause through, as they view these old tactics as the primary reason why they were so succinctly wiped from the board. I see this as a big reason why the Camarilla has changed their tune on the Antediluvians (honestly, just cause we did have some wake up and crazy shit happen I could easily see a lot of Camarilla attributing this to just some ancient Kindred and not absolutely for sure an Antediluvian), and why Noddism is back on the rise within the ranks of the Camarilla and the Anarchs. Behind all of this I see the lingering Sabbat, working their ways to make their enemies more malleable to their own ideals and easier to push from the steps of Noddist to a member of the Sword of Caine. As such, I see them less in the terrorist role of old, and more in the fundamentalist corrupter position they always should have taken to begin with. With that said, I do think you're still going to have some terrorist like shock troops out there to keep shaking things up (and help further pull attention away from the kindly Noddist among your own brood - really, we're not crazy Sabbat like them).

                          This also helped lay the groundwork for the Lasombra to "change sides" which is such an obviously ploy to me (and I'm sure most Elders), but the perceived power of having this Clan shift allegiance in these times proves too beneficial to the Camarilla. So here it is less of a "the Antitribu won by default" as it is "the lion in the living room" type of thing. That isn't to say that your own take on these various facets are any worse than what I propose, it is just an example of where it seems we stray in regards to background stuff.

                          Now, all of that said, my favorite bits are actually the Session Recaps you've been posting. While it is always refreshing to see another take on the background (and is of huge benefit for creative inspiration), seeing how a group interacts with the world you have made is what really makes me smile. Now that I do development elsewhere in the industry my joy from seeing people interact with the hobby in that raw and direct way has become incredibly enhanced for me, or at least I assume that connection is the reason why I have noticed myself enjoying seeing people play games has gone up. So, I'm really glad that you have been doing a solid mix of both types of posts (though I must admit, I still wish you recorded your sessions and posted them as I would love to watch all of this unfold directly - I can only imagine how much actually has to be lost in translation over to the forum posts).

                          Oh, and I love the tips of the hat to Bloodlines that you drop in at times, just cause like most I imagine around here I freaking love that videogame. Just had to toss that in here real quick at the end.


                          -Red
                          V20 Content: Age & Potency
                          V5 Content: The Masquerade, Tzimisce and Vicissitude, Loresheet: Chicago, Resonance Flavor
                          Community & Project Manager, Developer at Hunters Entertainment

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Originally posted by Red Eye View Post
                            It would probably be an easier list if I tried to come up with things I didn't like that you've been tossing in here. I feel like you and I share a lot of similarity in our views of the WoD (barring minor things). For example you're take on the SI and how the Kindred are starting to actually make some traction in their fight against them is actually really good and how I would see this all playing out myself. Enough people become aware of the supernatural threat, the SI is formed and begins actively plotting against the supernatural, the first strike of the SI takes the Kindred world by surprise as they had grown too complacent and viewed Mortals as something of a non-threat as the years rolled on and so they were very effective up front, the Kindred immediately reacted with a knee jerk response to all of this which allowed for an initial slowing of the SI against them but didn't bring it to a close outright, and now the Kindred have started a more active and deliberate approach to try and quell the SI and let the cycle of history roll on.
                            I see the Second Inqusition eventually having all of its evidence gradually disappear, perhaps helped along by their Technocracy "allies." Government officials will request all of the evidence and files be transferred to secret warehouses ala the Lost Ark. Then the various departments involved will be defunded, everything classified ultra-top secret, and lots of agents moved out to retirement. Wherever possible, they'll be brainwashed or ghouled or even embraced. It may take a few decades but the Second Inquisiton will fall.

                            They've already served their purpose as far as the puppetmasters are concerned.

                            The Antediluvians may also alter reality so cameras no longer take good pictures of Kindred or witnesses start to forget--but things will probably never reach that point. As Harry Dresden said in the Dresden Files, it's not because of the vampires being clever no one believes in monsters. It's because the people don't WANT to believe in them.

                            I also mentioned earlier in the thread that I do really enjoy what you are doing with the whole "Fake Lodin" stuff. The approach you have taken with it seeds a lot of fun potential plot threads that I think your players will potentially have a lot of fun with (if those end up being the hooks they decide to chase - you've got a lot of them, but the Chicago Setting is pretty good for that organically right out of the gate). This whole concept just plays on a number of themes that I think are a perfect fit for VtM.
                            The players are having a blast with Lodin II who I am playing up as every possible sneering Ventrue stereotype. I've also had them all pretty much come to the conclusion he's a fake (not that hard since they killed him--but they only threw him out a window into the sun and he DID have Fortitude). Yet, he's a dangerous capable fake. I think the players like him because he's such an arrogant bastard that he's an iconic character you can "love to hate."

                            Sebastian La Croix is pretty much the only other vampire character I can think the players want to see more of, simply because of what an asshole he is.

                            On the flip side, I actually take the Sabbat a little bit differently than you do - but only marginally. I see a lot of the remaining Sect serving in a way not dissimilar to fundamentalist religious individuals in an environment where they are fading out - they are in the shadows looking to corrupt and turn the enemy to their side from within. The ones who are still around have realized the old tactics are not sufficient to see the cause through, as they view these old tactics as the primary reason why they were so succinctly wiped from the board. I see this as a big reason why the Camarilla has changed their tune on the Antediluvians (honestly, just cause we did have some wake up and crazy shit happen I could easily see a lot of Camarilla attributing this to just some ancient Kindred and not absolutely for sure an Antediluvian), and why Noddism is back on the rise within the ranks of the Camarilla and the Anarchs. Behind all of this I see the lingering Sabbat, working their ways to make their enemies more malleable to their own ideals and easier to push from the steps of Noddist to a member of the Sword of Caine. As such, I see them less in the terrorist role of old, and more in the fundamentalist corrupter position they always should have taken to begin with. With that said, I do think you're still going to have some terrorist like shock troops out there to keep shaking things up (and help further pull attention away from the kindly Noddist among your own brood - really, we're not crazy Sabbat like them).
                            It's weird but I actually love the Sabbat and no one believes me because this is actually the second time the Sabbat has been all but totally destroyed in my games. My longest running PC was a Translyvania Chronicles to Modern Nights 800-year-old Tremere/Tzmisce impersonator who was very much an original Anarch and "fuck the Elders." However, I had a moment happen to me while I was playing the character.

                            It was during a pretty heated rant about the Camarilla during the build-up to Gehenna about how much he hated the Camarilla, how much he just wanted to be free of the Jyhad, and how much he was after a higher morality than most Kindred. And one of the players deflated him by saying, "So, how does playing Cowboys and Indians with shovelheads help?" The appeal of the Sabbat to me is they were a great idea that has had absolutely horrible execution. So, virtually all of my Sabbat games (and I have them) emphasizes the sect is incredibly broken. I feel similarly about the Paths of Enlightenment--I love them but I also have made it clear in my games the Sabbat have warped the original Kindred roads so they're all dead ends spirituality.

                            It actually gave me a USE for the Tal'Ma'Ra. I'm serious. There's a reason for them to exist now because I use them as the "True Sabbat." If you look hard enough, talk to the right Elders, there's a small circle of Noddist scholars and spiritualists who actually can take you on the magical journey to being noble inhuman predators who are a net-positive to the world but terrifying. Basically, the Euthanatos of Vampires. Which I didn't realize until I typed that is actually just literally true of them anyway since they're the 3rd group of embraced mages.

                            The Sabbat also won't stay down in this game, it's just ex-Sabbat and attempts to rebuild it are more interesting than a full-fledged functioning sect to me. Like how all my Star Wars games have Imperial remnant and war criminals vs. being during the Empire.

                            This also helped lay the groundwork for the Lasombra to "change sides" which is such an obviously ploy to me (and I'm sure most Elders), but the perceived power of having this Clan shift allegiance in these times proves too beneficial to the Camarilla. So here it is less of a "the Antitribu won by default" as it is "the lion in the living room" type of thing. That isn't to say that your own take on these various facets are any worse than what I propose, it is just an example of where it seems we stray in regards to background stuff.
                            My only issue is that I tend to think Path followers can't really function in the Camarilla very long because it's akin to being a serial killer in the mob. You're a serious liability.

                            Now, all of that said, my favorite bits are actually the Session Recaps you've been posting. While it is always refreshing to see another take on the background (and is of huge benefit for creative inspiration), seeing how a group interacts with the world you have made is what really makes me smile. Now that I do development elsewhere in the industry my joy from seeing people interact with the hobby in that raw and direct way has become incredibly enhanced for me, or at least I assume that connection is the reason why I have noticed myself enjoying seeing people play games has gone up. So, I'm really glad that you have been doing a solid mix of both types of posts (though I must admit, I still wish you recorded your sessions and posted them as I would love to watch all of this unfold directly - I can only imagine how much actually has to be lost in translation over to the forum posts).
                            I think you'll enjoy the next one where we finally get to interact with a bunch of canon characters.

                            Oh, and I love the tips of the hat to Bloodlines that you drop in at times, just cause like most I imagine around here I freaking love that videogame. Just had to toss that in here real quick at the end.
                            This game is actually a continuation of almost 20 years of gaming with multiple groups.

                            Also three separate cities.

                            * Saint Louis by Night (all my original characters)
                            * Los Angeles by Night (after Bloodlines)
                            * New York by Night

                            Under a Blood Red Moon was a mixed werewolf/vampire character chronicle from two perspectives (and where Harold Zettler died).

                            A Werewolf, Changeling, and Mage game also took place in it
                            Last edited by CTPhipps; 09-10-2018, 02:41 AM.


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

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                            • #59
                              This will probably never be a plot point in my games but it came to me and I have to make it canon.

                              Ed Neally
                              Regent of the Sabbat

                              Yes, you read that correctly.

                              Mind you, there's not much of a Sabbat to be regent of but as the coordinator for all financial transactions, pack movements, and planned attacks for the organization--he's arguably more in control than any previous Regent has been. He is the money man for the Sword of Caine, the invisible hand of the free market, and presently one of the most powerful Ventrue in the world. The fact no one knows it and he's acting as the put-on lackey of a fake Prince is irony that he's not sure whether to appreciate or loathe.

                              Ed Neally is not a true believer in the Sabbat's goals, he was dragooned into the sect by his own former progeny as a means of getting revenge on him [note: See the Blood Bond module]. However, he is probably still alive because he is not a believer. He kept his head down, killed those people who challenged him, and networked like there was no tomorrow.

                              When literally half of the sect decided to up and go fight the Antediluvians in a straight fight while another quarter of the sect was eliminated by mortals, Neally was one of those individuals who saw the writing on the wall. He told every single person he knew to go to ground and pretend the Sabbat no longer existed--what disturbed him was that people listened. Recently promoted to Cardinal Patricia "Tyler" Bollingbrook came to him and named him Regent of the Sabbat before entering torpor with hm as her caretaker. At least, that's what Neally THINKS happened but it is grossly out of character behavior for Tyler and he can't question what he remembers. Literally as he is Dominated not to think about it.

                              Neally has been using the Great Exodus and the Lasombra "defection" to the Camarilla to rebuild the Sabbat, which he often questions his motives about. He actually knows he's under heavy Dominate but has no idea who (or what) is compelling him to do it. However, as the new power behind the global force of Ballard, Sovereign, and Schumpeter Banking (BSSB) he is a manager of a vast network of financial institutions that are consolidating the Black Hand's assets. Ironically, he launders a significant amount of the Camarilla's remaining money as well as the Sabbat's--usually using the same methods and often side by side.

                              Generally, Neally's days consist of contacting various Lasombra and other figures who want new identities as Camarilla Cainites--which he then provides. He's convinced many of the "defectors" the best way to rebuild the Sabbat is from the inside and they're all willing to play the long game. Neally survives in part because of his unseen patron and the fact virtually every Lasombra believes Neally is a temporary stooge that will be easily disposed of in better nights. Neally has led dozens of Cainite defectors to their final deaths as well, pruning the deadwood and overly ambitious or freedom obsessed from the Sabbat.

                              Only a single ghoul family remains extant at present, made up of the remnants of the Sabbat's previous ones. Neally has provided them the staked bodies of dozens of Thin Bloods that are in a literal flesh-garden of their single remaining estate run by a handful of Tzimisce. They help manage this (much smaller) empire in branch offices across the United States. Neally actually has no interest in overthrowing Lodin or making Chicago a "Sabbat" city because as a hidden sect--the Sabbat is much-much more dangerous.

                              9th Generation Tzimisce Wendy Wade is Ed's major dormo and masquerading as his progeny. Neally is oblivious to the fact Gordon Keaton and she are planning his diablerie--or perhaps simply assumes he can make a better offer than either could ever get on their own.

                              Notes

                              * "Tyler" is actually a torporous Helene who hopes torpor will cure her Methuselah's thirst and protect her from being summoned to fight in the Gehenna War.
                              * She is notably NOT the person who is dominating him to rebuild the Sabbat. That's probably Marcus Vitel as the rulership of the Sabbat is a hell of a consolation prize after his previous overthrow.
                              * A LOT of Tzimisce are in hiding throughout the United States. In part of fear of their Antediluvian, others because they like the idea of rising up one day.
                              * Neally is using Juggler to slowly radicalize the Anarchs even as Lodin is neutralizing them. Neally thinks the first Anarch revolt became the Sabbat so vicious iconoclast kindred can be turned as well. It's a marathon not a sprint, though.
                              * Neally has taken over the late Ballard's former assets as well as many hidden Sabbat accounts. He uses these to finance terrorism, criminal activity, and worse--but ironically this is why the government does NOT shut him down as he's Too Big To FailTM and this is the World of Darkness.
                              * Neally is now a 9 on the Path of Power and the Inner Voice.
                              * Neally is still 8th generation and if he's killed, possibly with no the Sabbat as is will probably collapse into multiple factions. Again.
                              Last edited by CTPhipps; 09-10-2018, 03:38 AM.


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

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                              • #60
                                So, I ended up cooking up a Loresheet for the city of Chicago, taking the idea from 1E and 2E of the special stats for the Setting about Secrets and the more mundane Chicago history you could have. I sort of merged these two things together to composite a Loresheet that players can engage with if they are in Chicago. The main description block is my heavily revised and rephrased version of some of the text that describes Chicago in the 1E and 2E books. The photo is an actual photo from Chicago that was taken by my wife. The titles of the effects all pertain to Chicago slang or events. The effects you get are somewhat varied and the highest level lets you be clued into the who Methuselah plot stuff being a thing.

                                You can check it out here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/11b3...ew?usp=sharing

                                Feedback is of course welcome. I have a bit of time before our Session 1 (as my own game is a very relaxed pace to accommodate busy schedules), so I'll be able to tweak it some before I start actively using it. Hopefully someone else finds some use out of it too until something more official rolls out (if it does) in the CbNV5 book.


                                -Red
                                V20 Content: Age & Potency
                                V5 Content: The Masquerade, Tzimisce and Vicissitude, Loresheet: Chicago, Resonance Flavor
                                Community & Project Manager, Developer at Hunters Entertainment

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