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  • Making a funky chantry

    Hey folks,
    I've spent a couple of months building my city, started running a "camanilla" v20 game as of this week, and of course want to make tweaks.
    Currently (my players don't know yet) the tremere chantry in Manchester, UK is just a small mansion/large detached house in a relatively upscale area with quite a few more basements than would be expected. Going by the chantry creation rules in lore of the clans, it's worth 12-14 points, with the following:
    Guardians 2 (10 security ghouls)
    Library 3
    Research spaces 3 (one large decent lab)
    Sanctity 3 (professional guards, basic wards, toughened glass and reinforced walls, security stations)
    Stores 3

    But to be honest I'm not very inspired by what I've come up with. I can only picture "converted mansion" or the ridiculous extreme at the other end I remember from MET, the Glasgow chantry which was far underground and inaccessible in any way apart from modified "escape to safe place" circles.

    Has anyone come across interesting mid-size chantry ideas from games or sourcebooks that I can use for inspiration? I don't want to go all the way to extreme utilitarian fortress, I'm more interested in quirky and interesting setups.
    Cheers!

  • #2
    I find that the easiest way to get inspiration is a form follows function approach. Consider what paths of thaumaturgy the occupants use and how modifying the chantry design could make things interesting.

    For instance if everyone at the chantry uses Neptune's Might then you have two design options right off the top with due they go for fresh water specialization or sea water?

    Fresh Water - Information Water Gardens
    Imagine a large indoor garden (small stadium size) with fountains and pools that serves high tea and other specialty events. Thanks to decades of careful management the elites of local society go there to discuss business, meet old friends, or just be seen enjoying the high society life. Except that every pond, water fall, and stream is essentially a scrying device for those who know Neptune's Might, allowing the vampires to view things said or done near the water after the fact. A ghoul acts as a daylight manager and runs an otherwise normal business. The usual chantry stuff is underneath the attached parking garage, this helps make sure there aren't any issues with leaks or seepage into the chantry proper.

    Salt Water - Coastal Light House
    Just put a light house chantry out on the coast some where. As long as the light is always lit, the keepers are left alone. The light house sits atop a small cliff face that has a small sea cave at the base. This has been used for centuries as a smugglers route, allowing contraband materials or travelers to move securely, at a fee of course. The occupants use the Neptune's Might defend their home, originally from pirates but more recently against modern criminal elements that would love to use the property for their needs.

    As you can see you get a very different feel and quasi-backstory just by choosing what would help the Thaumaturgy path. Further more in both instances the chantries have both a mundane income method and an elicit one. Neither chantry has the Fortress of Doom feel nor do they fall under the Mansion category. Of course with a little thought they can easily be made into Fortresses of Doom with little effort. Add Elemental Mastery to the light house and the tremere can summon powerful water elementals. Add the Green Path to the water gardens and you basically have instant strangle traps across most of the building.

    Of course your Chantry doesn't have to be stationary.

    I ran one tremere game where the "chantry" was actually a converted RV that would move locations every night. The Tremere specialized in Path of the Technomancy and as such made their living by pulling off major hacking events, but by being mobile and never using the same location twice, they were almost impossible to track down. A single ghoul driver would allow for daytime movement while the vampires could drive at night. Thanks to the specific powers of Technomancy, you can hack from camping spots as easily as from the inner city.

    In a different game the coterie was essentially a rapid reaction force that could be dispatched to trouble spots anywhere in the world. They were a mixed group of Tremere, Loyalist Gargoyles, and ghoul mercenaries. They used two "Chantries", the first was a military cargo plane for rapid response deployment and the other was a cargo ship that was used for more prolonged conflicts. Both of which were designed around bypassing paperwork and not arousing suspicion more than anything else. The amount of destruction this group was capable of was on par for some full fledged militaries.

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    • #3
      Antiques And Rare Books Store
      An excuse for ordering in strange artefacts, and keeping an eye on the trade to see who else is ordering in strange artefacts. It's good for emphasising the occult research side of the House(s) and Clan. Warehouse space doubles as the lab.

      Fringe Religion Meeting Hall
      Also for the occult side, but for the creepy weird pyramid part of it.


      Medical Research Facility
      For all your rare blood type needs, and optionally raising awareness of conditions like Schere's Disease. For the modernist "science, not magic, honest!" aspect - and so much blood for them to be doing creepy things with.

      Nightclub
      Hey, the other clans do it, and it's great for money laundering. (A magic club might be too on-the-nose...)


      Craig Oxbrow
      The Trinity Continuum freelancer

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      • #4
        When I read the title, I imagined the Tremere holding private Roller Disco competitions.

        The other clans must NEVER know!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post
          When I read the title, I imagined the Tremere holding private Roller Disco competitions.

          The other clans must NEVER know!
          I concur -- I was sorely disappointed to discover this wasn't a thread about flare-wearing superfly warlocks getting their thaumaboogie on in John Travolta suits & Farah Fawcett hair.
          ‚Äč
          *sigh*

          As for chantry ideas, how about looking to something more specific to Manchester...

          The completion of the Manchester Ship Canal and the Port of Manchester at the end of the 19th century created an incredibly valuable new asset for the city, which perhaps the Tremere seized control of rather than the Ventrue and/or Brujah. Perhaps the chantry is behind an anonymous red-brick building between the customs offices and old warehouses near the docks. Or maybe they took advantage of the renovation of Salford Quays and took a couple of floors in one of the new office blocks in MediaCity -- being co-located with the BBC means they're also now integral to the Camarilla's masquerade activities.

          Or, the Tremere control a department-or-two's worth of old university buildings, when UMIST merged with the University of Manchester the clan ensured that responsibility for the buildings vanished under a pile of paperwork.

          Comment


          • #6
            Lovely, thanks folks - I'll change "impressive visage" to "night fever" in my chantry then in honour of this thread.
            Path-wise, the only thing that stands out in my npc's is the path of the focused mind, as one of the magisters is a quabbalist. I'm not sure how to turn that into a vibe for the chantry to be honest.
            As for Manchester-specific, the ship canal and canals in general are already factors in the Nosferatu setup; but having a link to the rivers and canals is nice, I'll use that :-)

            I think I will have a secondary lab/safe house in the uni as well now you've pointed that out. The universities are a big area of interest for a lot of the Kindred of Manchester, with a toreador elder giving patronage to the art school and school of music, and a brujah and a Malkavian elder also having their fingers in the pie, together with one of the characters wanting a way in there. It's definitely a contested space but given the fact there's about 100k students in greater Manchester, a lot of room as well. I can give the keys to that umist space as a reward and a fixer-upper to that pc as well, since he's a newly arrived apprentice.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Eyrelliah View Post
              Path-wise, the only thing that stands out in my npc's is the path of the focused mind, as one of the magisters is a quabbalist. I'm not sure how to turn that into a vibe for the chantry to be honest.
              The chantry is a Self Empowerment center that charges big bucks for its advice and counseling. Between the Path of the Focused Mind and Dominate you can ensure that the subjects change bad behaviors and succeed just enough to make them true believers in your brand and message. While the Tremere are not known for generating cults, this would be a great way to generate income and have access to high level CEOs.

              A reference point would be the self help group serial killers from Dexter.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Thoth View Post

                The chantry is a Self Empowerment center that charges big bucks for its advice and counseling.
                I like it, but I'm cagey about having mortals traipsing around a blood magic facility. How would you keep things apart and make sure that the mortals don't stumble into guns and incineration traps?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Eyrelliah View Post
                  I like it, but I'm cagey about having mortals traipsing around a blood magic facility. How would you keep things apart and make sure that the mortals don't stumble into guns and incineration traps?
                  Such facilities tend to be a large auditorium with some attached office space. The area with all the fun traps, libraries, and coffins can be underground in a basement area. If you make the auditorium one of those large glass ceiling and walled rooms, the Tremere can use it for astrological related reasons when it isn't being used for talks or seminars.

                  Alternatively I am sure there is some sort of dark ritual that could be performed underneath the auditorium that might require a few thousand living beings all focused on a common goal or perhaps as living sacrifices.

                  Of course you could put a modern day spin on the concept and have the seminars just be online like YouTube vids. Only the most influential of the clients would be invited to the corporate headquarters for "special training". This keeps the number of random mortals wandering about to a minimum and ensures a degree of privacy.

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                  • #10
                    Ace, so I think I'll have the Chantry itself be the Headquarters of the self-empowerment organisation, with apartments for key staff - essentially a large house with the look of being converted to flats, where it's actually just full of the ghouls and kindred. They very rarely bring clients there, although it does happen from time to time.
                    Meanwhile they have other properties as "retreats" and "wellbeing centres" in the area, including a converted Mill on the other side of Prestwich from the chantry itself. That's where most of the business goes down.

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