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  • Chicago/Gary By Night - Omerta Players probably want to skip this post

    Omerta Players probably want to skip this post...unless you want the whole game ruined!

    Ok so I, a month ago began a V5 Chicago by Night game beginning in Gary IA and I wanted to share this with you guys and mine you for ideas, critiques etc.
    Lets start at the beginning - the planning.

    I started with a base idea. I have 4 storytellers/GMs as players and we all wanted to try V5 with none of us being sold on it so this game began as an experiment for us. To make things simple I figured I'd just run Chicago by Night from beginning to end touching on all points in between. As I mined for ideas, I posted a poll thing up here and someone pointed out "why rush it?". And they were right. I had already planned on revising the Gary NPCs (I just found out that NPC is apparently a bad term now but I'm taking it back!) because I found the ones presented to be...lacking and uninteresting. So I spent a lot of time mining the internet for ideas to steal and remanufacture and add to the ones in my head. and here they start:

    Modius
    I didn't change much about him but I made him less incompetent. I also have him relying on Alicia more than he probably should. Otherwise I left him as is. Indebted to the Kindred of Chicago - namely Lodin and Annabelle, though I am mixing Maldavis in there as well. His rivalry with Juggler remains. Basically Modius is just a better Prince...but thats not saying a lot. He's still in a weak position. But he has bigger plans.

    Alicia
    She is totally different. She's a cutthroat, petty, possessive Kindred that is loyal to Modius to a fault. She hates anyone who gets close to her "daddy" and actively seeks to ruin them. This will come into play later.

    Alexander
    I left him the same more or less but am playing him as a severe Russian who travels a lot thus being a poor holder of Domain.

    Michael
    I am playing him more soft hearted...a frightened soul but a prophet of sorts. Also a moral bastion. PCs have yet to meet him.

    Juggler
    Also a ramped up version. The quintessential freedom fighter. But the players will soon find out that he fights for nothing. A rebel without a cause. He hates Modius for having power as well as Lodin. But he's a poor leader. He should stick to writing speeches.

    These were the major players. Then one of the players turned me on to the VTR book Damnation City which is BY FAR the best city book I have ever read for putting together a city, domain etc. So I began reading that as the players started putting together their characters. From that I took a map of Gary and started distributing domains to the elders that needed it. I decided from the beginning that Alexander would control the downtown and that a portion of that would get handed to the players after a short time as Alexander is often gone, while Modius shares the university with Alicia and a couple other significant populated areas. Juggler takes the industrial areas but basically feeds where he chooses.

    Character wise I ended up with this:
    Toreador rapper/gangbanger
    Nosferatu ex spy with PTSD
    Tremere author a la occult/horror types
    Ventrue mob son rebelling against the system

    I was very loose with the character concepts because I already had an idea in mind. The characters sires aren't who they think they are. Each scene I ran ended with the character being basically "black bagged" and turned. They think that all their sires are from Gary (except the Tremere) but they aren't. They are meant to be used as cannon fodder for the next Anarch assault on Chicago along with a few others. So my Toreador thinks his sire is Modius but is actually Sophia Ayes. Nosferatu - Alexander/Jurgis. Ventrue Modius (not a typo)/ Tommy Hinds and the Tremere who was embraced by Erichtho and was shipped off to Vienna. He's the only one where its the truth.

    Upon building this base, next I had to fill in the story a bit more. So the overall concept of the story is basically the characters sires are uniting under the anarch flag to strike back at Chicago under the leadership of Maldavis. So the sires called in favours with Modius and the Gary kindred to hide the characters. Modius, however, has his own plans and is in contact with Maxwell to retake Chicago for their own. The only flaw in the plan is Juggler who, though he is rather ineffectual, he does have ears to the street and can back any party or throw in with Lodin. I have no idea how this will play out.

    Looking at the other Gary NPCs...well...I hate Lucien. HATE him. It makes no sense him being there so I'll either roll his power WAY back or replace him. Sullivan and Evelyn are still kicking. They'll stay as is though. Juggler embraced Evelyn to play ball with Maldavis. BUT in my internet wanderings I came across a comic book that changed everything. A small indie book called Weapon Brown, which basically takes the Charlie Brown characters and ages them and puts them into an R rated post apocalyptic nightmare. And I started thinking....what if the Charlie Brown universe collided with mine? What if they were all kindred that keep the basic relationships that they have with each other just ramped up to 10. So far only Charlie (Chuck - Brujah) and Pigpen (Piggy) have made appearances. Kinda looking forward to seeing if my PCs figure it out. I'll flesh these guys out as I update you on the story.

    So yeah! There's my basic story in broad strokes! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas!

  • #2
    Preludes

    Most of the Preludes were fairly boring. Just kind of getting used to the V5 system. It was also very narrated, digging into the characters, their touchstones and relationships. They were all done separately. And all kind of planted seeds for the upcoming arc. I decided I'd open with Rusted Veins as I'm in no rush to get into Chicago and I'll let the PCs get there on their own - assuming they go. So the Toreador (Tripp) was given a brick of heroin by his gangbanging touchstone while the ventrue (Vinnie) set himself up in Gary and the Nossie (Suzi) kept her head down. Our Tremere was picked up at O'Hare by his sire and driven to Gary where the happened upon a car chase and ended up wrecking with the gangbangers who were fighting it out and witnessed a murder and were attempted to be disposed of, leaving them stranded on the Gary borders so Erichtho calls Modius for a pickup and catches a bus to back Chicago leaving our poor Tremere (Anton) with the cryptic instruction to "keep his head down".

    Tripp and Vinnie know of each other as Tripps rap fame appealed to Vinnie and Vinnie was a young councilman in Gary...and they are both apparently Modius' childer. Alicia hates them both. Modius askes them to pick up Anton and to take Suzi with them so they do. Since it was close by, Tripp also asks them to help out on his drug exchange which goes sour. They then gat a call from Juggler - I should also clear up the timeline. I decided I didn't want to do 30 years of VTM so I'll compress the timelines. The game currently takes place on Sept 7/97 - who knew about the exchange and claims to control the gang that Tripp was exchanging with and one of the police, however Modius also had influence with the police and they ended up with the drugs and Juggler tried to cut a deal with them that failed. Arriving back, Anton presented himself and the money was presented to Modius who rewarded them with Domain after giving Alexander a reprimand for being an "absentee landlord". Modius requested that the coterie watch over Anton and make an exchange with the Salesman the next night.

    Needing to feed, the PCs split up with Vinnie beating a student almost to death (he hates the privileged and thats his feeding restriction) and bringing him to the others where Anton is disturbed (as his flaw is violence towards children). While the beating is happening, Tripp and Anton visit a local venue where Tripp is to perform in a week. There they feed and my game turned into a strip tease momentarily as it was ladies night and Tripp finds out his gig was cancelled. The coterie meet up and discuss the Juggler situation and he calls letting them know where the heroin is. All but Vinnie drive the university kid to the hospital where unbeknownst to the others, Suzi slips into the building where the heroin is being stored and steals it. and the characters decide to meet with Juggler. They also find out a bit more about the city from a homeless drug addict named Piggie (see above) who desperately gives them information for a few dollars to buy a fix.

    Juggler gives them the speech about freedom, telling them that "Modius is the one who fucked up this town" and gives them the brief history between Lodin and Modius. It should be said that I don't care what the players do. They will have to choose a side but I don't care which one. However at this point after discussion they decide to remain loyal to Modius. They head home and this ends night one. Night two goes poorly very quickly.

    The first order of business is Tripp getting his gig back. They visit Chuck (see above) who is the manager/bartender for the venue. He has a strict No guns, no drug, no gangs policy and refuses Tripp his gig. This causes the coterie to become belligerent as the venue is in their domain and they decide to set an example. They cause a bar fight and torch Chucks car which sets the Brujah over the edge with almost masquerade breaching violence (and almost killing Anton). The situation was diffused though Chuck did call Juggler to claim to switch sides, but Vinnie wasn't having it. In his mind Chuck is challenging the coteries dominance in their domain and needs to die, so he resumes the battle with the backup of Tripp. UNTIL Chuck dies and Vinnie continues to drain him. Yes. Diablarie on game 2. I was surprised too. As were Tripp and Anton who staked him immediately. They smuggled to body into their stolen vehicle and went to the meeting for Modius. The exchanged happened and the parcel was Tripps younger brother. I was going to use a touchstone but I felt it was too heavy handed. I wanted the emotional impact, not to force them to do anything. So now they have a quandary - what to do with Vinnie and what to do about the "package". A plan was made - present Vinnie first as a tribute and then as a reward ask for Tripps brother. HOWEVER they don't know that hiding Vinnie clears a debt for Modius and creates goodwill with the unions through Hinds that is now fucked. He can't let diablarie go unpunished and he can't be involved with Vinnies death. So the punishment is that Vinnie will meet the sun at the PCs hands and any repercussions thereof will fall upon them. The PCs think the repercussions are going to be from Juggler...but that will come back to haunt them later. Of course the topic of the package comes up and Suzi immediately steps up lying to Modius saying the package dies and was burned which sends Modius into a rage. The coterie leaves now disillusioned and uncertain as to their loyalties to Modius. After a discussion they decide to see if they can buy Jugglers favour with the torpid corpse of Vinnie. Anton consults his sire via ritual however at the end of the ritual, he sees Nicholi's face pop up (as a bit of foreshadowing) and they decide to move havens.

    Thats the Coles notes of where we're at thus far! Again thoughts, criticisms, comments and ideas are welcome!

    Comment


    • #3
      Question, what exactly bothers you with Lucien? Must admit i always found him a weird but useful fit to have, a methuselah that is not crazy overpowered and vague enough for a ST to make up whatever agenda one feels like to him. In my own games he was something of a "shadow member" of Chicago's primogen, messing things here & there occasionally based to a bunch of grudges and messing things in attempts to better watch the hidden hands playing with the kindred of both cities. One might say he was a sort of 3rd methuselah at play in my own take of the area's Jyhad.


      but now speaking of the other NPCs....

      - Evelyn i keep mostly the same, but added that she was a public worker with a taste for (bad) vampire romance before her embrace by Juggler, that soured her somewhat, while secretly still clinging to hopes of finding some big, bad, dark gothic paramour.

      - Gregory Stephens - In her first nights Evelyn exposed herself - not to mention fed upon - her policeman brother, an experience that evoked feelings that deeply creep them both out and makes their interactions awkward to say the least. Gregory in particular is both scared and attracted by the idea of the Kiss and embrace. He's aware of her sire Juggler, but also familiar with ex-cop turned vigilante turned vampire Malcolm and one of the mortal daughters of Jacob Schumpeter, one of Chicago's Ventrue.

      - Alexander might or not have ties with the Inconnu and individually with Johan Weltmann, Rebekah &/or Khalid.

      - Doyle Fincher & Oliver Genet found out about each other and Tammy Walensky and her ghost problem, forming a sort of weird undead family unit around dealing with the ghostly situation in her burned out husk of a hounted house.

      - Garwood Marshall alternates his time between Baby Chorus and a 2nd band, Nocturnal Melange, a jazz group formed with Toreadors Edge & Stephanie (the antagonist couple from Child's Play: Paper Chase*, one of Succubus Club's adventures), Gangrel Johnny Roberts (actually Setite and an old char of mine) and Caitiff Ramiro Aquila (in truth a new persona of Evan Klein, though no one knows).


      Chicago's Ventrue: For matters of taste, brewing more factions and surprising my players (already familiar with the books) i did some major quartering and tweaking of Lodin's overblown brood, resulting in the following.

      - Frank Gaugham was embraced by Horatio Ballard, in the interest of creating a foil to Capone.

      - Alan Sovereign was embraced by Capone, for basically the same reason.

      - Pham Hong, Kevin Jackson and Joseph Peterson are the childer of Edward Neally, made to help keeping a hold in the Masquerade – and his "brothers" Ballard & Capone – with varying results. It also means the events of Blood Bond can cause considerably larger waves in the city's status quo.

      - Tommy Hinds is actually the childe of Edgar Drummond, that still has him in a subtle but effective blood bond. Jacob Schumpeter too, but the apple didn't drop too far from the tree in his case.

      - Bobby Weatherbottom stayed the childe of Lodin, mainly because his embrace was partly the reason Anabelle would end up sparking the council wars and i decided to keep that, along with making him a curious foil to Lorraine.

      - Brennon Thornhill was not even Ventrue in my games, but Toreador and a childe of Modius, giving him a pair of very well-placed eyes into the city's intrigue.

      - Portia (Helena) didn't really try (to fail at) playing neonate, presenting herself instead as an ancilla childe of Eletria and according to (false) rumors, Brennon's sire.


      - *In my chronicle the "Apocrypha of Nod" from Paper Chase, while still a set of false works, had considerably more mystical bite and its handling would lead to Edge & Stephanie and a number of young kindred (among them a runaway from a certain mess involving a Caine sighting in Berlin) forming a coterie-sized gehenna cult in the city.


      For the sake of reference, my take of Chicago is mostly 1e with some twists mixed in from stuff adapted from Succubus Club, Blood Bond, 2e Chicago and other bits. Truth be told, a bunch of my personal ideas on mashing editions of the city you can check out here. Feel free to steal, adapt, ignore or laugh at as suits your fancy. Hope it entertains at least.
      Last edited by Baaldam; 01-12-2019, 02:49 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Baaldam View Post
        Question, what exactly bothers you with Lucien? Must admit i always found him a weird but useful fit to have, a methuselah that is not crazy overpowered and vague enough for a ST to make up whatever agenda one feels like to him. In my own games he was something of a "shadow member" of Chicago's primogen, messing things here & there occasionally based to a bunch of grudges and messing things in attempts to better watch the hidden hands playing with the kindred of both cities. One might say he was a sort of 3rd methuselah at play in my own take of the area's Jyhad.


        Well, lets be honest here. All of CbN 1st Ed was way unbalanced and Gary was really the start for that. I feel like Lucien was just stuck in there as an example of "oh look, vampires are old" and it felt forced and to me didn't make a lot of sense. He's a gangrel, in a city with little to no power or anything really interesting going on. An 1500 year old Kindred just kinda hanging out in a dying city. I feel like Lucien, having watched the fall of Rome would be more....something. But I can't for the life of me figure out what the fuck to do with him. I guess the whole thing just irks me and I feel that he doesn't add to Gary, Chicago, Camarilla or Anarchs. And there really aren't many to challenge his power.


        Originally posted by Baaldam View Post
        but now speaking of the other NPCs....

        - Evelyn i keep mostly the same, but added that she was a public worker with a taste for (bad) vampire romance before her embrace by Juggler, that soured her somewhat, while secretly still clinging to hopes of finding some big, bad, dark gothic paramour.

        - Gregory Stephens - In her first nights Evelyn exposed herself - not to mention fed upon - her policeman brother, an experience that evoked feelings that deeply creep them both out and makes their interactions awkward to say the least. Gregory in particular is both scared and attracted by the idea of the Kiss and embrace. He's aware of her sire Juggler, but also familiar with ex-cop turned vigilante turned vampire Malcolm and one of the mortal daughters of Jacob Schumpeter, one of Chicago's Ventrue.


        I haven't quite settled on Evelyns background. My instinct is to have her as a black biker with Juggler but also a former member of the gang culture in Gary to act as sort of a bridge between the bikers and the street gangs which will appeal to one or 2 of my PCs. It also explains Jugglers influence with the traditional gangs of Gary. Gregory...well he's complicated. I have both Juggler and Modius having influence on the police force. Maybe Evelyn is the link here as well....that, yes Juggler IS influencial but its all because of Evelyn NOT him and she's too new to see how she is being played. That'd be great for the players to maybe be able to swing her to their side and suddenly have pull with all these resources that will piss both Modius and Juggler off... hmmmm...


        Originally posted by Baaldam View Post
        - Alexander might or not have ties with the Inconnu and individually with Johan Weltmann, Rebekah &/or Khalid.

        Not a bad idea. I had planned to use him as a data dump if the PCs start asking questions about Chicago and linking him to the Chicago nosferatu is obvious. But I have to be careful because he is/was indebted to the anarch cause so it may work better to have him connected to Jurgis (which was my first thought) and through Jurgis to Khalid and the rest.




        I haven't worked on Chicago too much as of yet. I am slowly putting together the 2 anarch factions, then I suppose it will be the faction that MAY support Maxwell & Modius. Lodin's group I can leave as is. I'm finding it difficult to plan because A) Chicago is just so damned big and complex and B) I gave my PCs total freedom and we're still only 2-3 sessions in so I have no idea where they are leaning. Initially it looked like they were going to remain loyal to the Camarilla but after the debacle with Modius and the diablarie and "loss" of Modius' "product", they have suddenly become very disillusioned with the Cams. Much more than I had intended or thought they would. So I have no idea which way the PCs will go as of yet leaving me unsure which faction to focus on. Game is on Monday and I had planned for them to meet with Juggler and introduce Evelyn into the mix. I also was going to take one of the short stories....I can't remember what it's called but basically there is a mass murder in a house and Neon is hiding nearby. I'm curious to see what they do with him, and eventually Damien will come calling. I also have to introduce the new PC since I'm pretty sure Vinnie is going to die.


        As for the rest of your Chicago notes, I'm going to have to give them a serious read after work. Thank you for your suggestions/input! I'm sure there will be some pillaging happening! I love the Brennan idea as well as there being more Kindred bands...maybe one of them will appear in Gary? Not sure. I'm going to have to do a deep dive on the link you attached.

        Comment


        • #5
          Love this! Thank you for sharing your Gary chronicle.

          I'm loving it.

          Edit:

          I make use of Lucien as the "aged mentor" character who has literally seen it all and has managed to survive the Jyhad by avoiding the majority of it. He's 2000 years old but he's mostly avoided becoming entangled in any causes and advised the PCs to stay the same. He was very useful for giving long-term analyses on things like the Sabbat, Camarilla, Anarchs, and vampires that might not actually be people the PCs could ever encounter (Hardestadt, Lucita, and so on). He even knows the Antediluvians are real and can tell them Gehenna is something that they will probably have to deal with in their unlives. I also made it clear that if there's ever a problem, he's the first to run from it.

          But is that all for Lucien?

          No, the players at my game never figured it out but Lucien (of course) isn't the vampire he presents himself to be. Why is he in Gary and not Chicago? Because that's close enough to the place he's spying on to work from without actually being surrounded by people who will watch him.

          My Lucien is a member of the Tal'Mah'Re and one of their older high-ranking (but not personally powerful) members. It's Lucien's job to monitor Chicago and occasionally stir the pot. He was involved in the Council Wars, making sure Maxwell escaped from Lodin's uprising, judging Kindred for membership (Khalid was judged unfit after a century of monitoring--Danov is a maybe), and also exchange information with Rebekah the Monitor.
          Last edited by CTPhipps; 01-12-2019, 02:07 PM.


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

          Comment


          • #6
            I always viewed Lucien as being more based out of Chicago (I believe he controls a shipping company that many Kindred use to move around) in practical terms. However, in social terms, he hangs out in Gary precisely because nothing happens there. It is peaceful and relaxing there. I think he doesn't like Lodin personally, and wants to avoid most of the politics and intrigue among the Chicago elders. That's why he prefers Modius's little clique socially. Overall he avoids vampire politics. The antics of Modius's court amuses him because it is small and petty and not dangerous to him.

            As a methusaleh by age, but not generation, he's seen a lot and is tired by it. He's powerful enough by age to handle neonates and ancillae, but his lack of potent blood handicaps him if there is conflict with lower generation vampires, which Chicago has in abundance. Being a big fish in Modius's court keeps him safe and amuses him. I imagine he visits some of the other elders in Chicago who try to stay out of politics like Sir or that chess playing Malkavian (can't think of his name right now), or sees Inyanga on clan business. Just enough to keep him informed, protect his interests, and let people know to stay away from him.

            As for his role in a chronicle, I always found him as someone who could be a good mentor to the PCs. He could give disinterested advice as he hopes they avoid the common pitfalls of neonates learning the ropes.

            Lucien isn't ambitious - he's a survivor. He's survived 2000 years and intends to keep on surviving. And given his age, he might be preparing for an age of extended torpor. A boring spot like Gary may be precisely he needs to conduct that preparation work while being close enough to Chicago that his current interests are maintained.

            Comment


            • #7
              Hmmm you all are changing my mind on Lucien. Maybe I'll use him....not sure yet. There was the advantage of not having to deal with elders in a v5 game but...maybe...

              Comment


              • #8
                Interestingly enough, the Allicia which was presented in Baptism by Fire is a good foil for Evelyn as I think both of them are meant to be potential love interest characters for heterosexual male (or gay female) characters.

                The idea of Allicia being the mysterious tragic Jazz Age woman they can fall in love with (though I'd give her the ability to talk because--uh, why wouldn't you?) that has been horrifically abused by Modius and they can "rescue" her from him (all the while potentially falling under Modius' clutches).

                Evelyn, by contrast, is also stuck underneath Juggler's thumb but isn't quite as mentally traumatized. She's a feisty young Brujah out to see the world while Juggler is rapidly reaching the limit where he is likely just to dispose of her as she's a liability to him as a Anarch leader.


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

                Comment


                • #9
                  Lucian: some extra things of possible interest or use in relation to him would like to point out.

                  - While the centuries certainly might have played a role, Lucian's stats seem to portray someone closer to patrician officer than mere soldier. And still quite fascinated with the military world to a degree if his level in firearms (rifles) and linguistics specialty serve as indicators (as an aside, now i have this image of him as something of a gun nut, with a extensive collection of weapons he has used through many eras, along with a library of magazines on the subject that would make NRA representatives green with envy).

                  - Ancient law and modern science (physics, with a specialty in relativity) seem to be two other major interests of his, what makes for interesting parallels and contrast to Critias - the roman x the greek/carthaginian, rivals, foils or best frenemies of sorts. how much do they still interact since he left Chicago, would be up to debate. ​That, along with the fact he's still 8th gen after millenia of existence and potential opportunities, makes me guess he would be really not a fan of a serial diablerist and politicking elder like Tyler. Also, his status level would seem to imply he's possibly quite well known - and feared/respected - by a number of kinded in North America.

                  - He's the sire of Mark Decker, a major elder and Milwaukee's prince since Revised. Curious how they would end up in domains relatively close to each other, considering Decker was originally embraced in the Deep South, if memory tricks me not. Coincidence? Considering Lucian has Dominate and Presence 4, quite debatable, i guess.

                  Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
                  I imagine he visits some of the other elders in Chicago who try to stay out of politics like Sir or that chess playing Malkavian (can't think of his name right now), or sees Inyanga on clan business.
                  I think you mean Horace Thurnbull - it's either him or Dmitri, the "living" chess-obsessed Sabbat-connected methuselah from Succubus Club's adventure Player of Pawns (as an aside, while chess is far from a major element of his portrayal, now i'm feeling so very tempted to either connect the two or make Horace and Dmitri one and the same, what might be weird, scary and awesome to play with, i think).



                  Evelyn: About the lady, i would suggest checking out her description stats - they give an image quite different from "biker gang babe" i would say (something that also doesn't mesh well with the "scared by the embrace/rose-eyed previous view of vampirism" angle of her background, imho). In fact, though she came much before it, i would sometimes draw upon the "morbid artsy type vindictively embraced" template from clanbook: Nosferatu for inspiration in her portrayal (though much more subdued, obviously, as she's still pretty and now immortal).
                  But back on fluff & stats per se, with Subterfuge 4 and Bureaucracy & Medicine 3, my guess would be hospital administrator/politician looking for something to break the horrid dreariness of her mundane mortal life.


                  As an aside, re-reading Juggler's description and portrayal in the text, it stuck with me that some of his behaviour and attitudes have a lot in common with Son (of all people), what i guess kind of explains considerably Evelyn's initial post-embrace scare from her sire. And honestly i would be tempted to drop his Humanity to 3, along with revising his disciplines (drop Dominate to 3, bump his physical disciplines 1 level each).
                  Last edited by Baaldam; 01-12-2019, 11:37 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I should note that we discover in Chicago by Night that Juggler is actually Blood Bound to Tyler.

                    Which, to me, implies that Tyler may have sired him before the Council Wars (when she was still 7th generation) and that Juggler is little more than her catspaw to make sure the Anarchs remain "under control" until she needs them again.

                    I felt this added an interesting layer to things as he was a figure who literally COULDN'T make the Anarchs able to do anything without the approval of his elder master. Tyler, mind you, probably could be Prince but what's the point? She has everything she needs.

                    My in-game canon for Juggler was:

                    Born Lucio Tomasso, Juggler was a race car driver during the 1950s and extremely popular for both his looks as well as personal charisma. Patricia Bollingbrook found herself uncharacteristically entranced by him and Embraced him after a drunken night of debauchery. What she found afterward was Juggler was a drunken lecherous playboy with only superficial charm. Blood bonding him, Patricia made him a middle man for her business and used him to menace individuals she couldn't bother to use more talented agents. Modius is actually a test for Juggler and if he eventually kills or diablerizes him then he might be worth using on more important business.



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

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Crap. I just had a whole long written out and the forum ate it. Ugh...lets see if I can recapture my thoughts.


                      Alicia
                      In order for us to look at her we have to look at Modius.
                      I hate the way Modius is presented in the original setting. It makes no sense. In my setting he is a defeated man. Rattled. But not incompetent. He's been spanked and he knows it, relegated to a very embarrassing role. His confidence is shaken and Alicia is his rock. His stalwart companion and supporter. The one he can bounce ideas off of. Confer with. Of course he is being manipulated by her and he knows it, but he's fine with it as long as she doesn't overstep her bounds. At the same time, this makes her severely possessive of him. She wants him to take Chicago. She has no interest in Gary either but longs for the bright lights of the big city and the power that comes with being the prince's #2. All she has to do is get rid of that pesky Annabelle.

                      I think relegating her role to the love interest is just....basic. That whole situation of her running around like a lovesick puppy just drove me nuts. And made no sense. I'd rather give her some substance. An important role to play in the city and an excellent foil for the PCs. As In have her in my setting, it gives the PCs someone to hate and someone to blame. Of course she will rarely, if ever, act against them, but I can see her getting blamed for all sorts of things. And blaming her is as good as blaming the prince.

                      My players already despise her and its been 3 games. The running joke is that had Vinny diablarised her instead of Chuck, then he'd probably get a medal instead of meeting the sun.


                      Evelyn
                      With Evelyn I had to look at my PCs. During character creation, many of my PCs characters were "street" oriented so it became abundantly clear that gangs and such would play a huge role in the game. At least in the beginning. Evelyn, I hope, will be the sympathetic one. In the deleted post I mused about not wanting her to be blood bound to Juggler because there would be no way for the PCs to seperate the two, but by the end of the section I had convinced myself. I see Evelyn as kind of the power behind the throne. She's the one with the contacts to the police and to the rival gang of Tripps. But she is under the thumb of Juggler, bound by blood and helpless to resist him. But I hope the PCs can make a good impression with her so she can throw them bones as she can. I also plan for her to become heavily abused. Right now its all good with parties and "freedom". But as things heat up, Juggler is going to send her down a dark road of drug dealing and prostitution and eventually violence. I look forward to seeing what happens when she is forced to fire bomb a PC asset. From there I see her needing a friend. And that friend will be a PC....or Daddy. And the latter will cause problems for everyone.

                      Originally posted by Baaldam View Post

                      As an aside, re-reading Juggler's description and portrayal in the text, it stuck with me that some of his behaviour and attitudes have a lot in common with Son (of all people), what i guess kind of explains considerably Evelyn's initial post-embrace scare from her sire. And honestly i would be tempted to drop his Humanity to 3, along with revising his disciplines (drop Dominate to 3, bump his physical disciplines 1 level each).
                      I can totally see that. I do plan to make Juggler darker than written. But at the same time ineffectual. I think CTP's point comes into play here

                      Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                      I should note that we discover in Chicago by Night that Juggler is actually Blood Bound to Tyler.

                      Which, to me, implies that Tyler may have sired him before the Council Wars (when she was still 7th generation) and that Juggler is little more than her catspaw to make sure the Anarchs remain "under control" until she needs them again.

                      I felt this added an interesting layer to things as he was a figure who literally COULDN'T make the Anarchs able to do anything without the approval of his elder master. Tyler, mind you, probably could be Prince but what's the point? She has everything she needs.
                      This is a great point I had forgotten. Tyler, I feel, and if I remember correctly is being pressured by her former Sabbat overlords to coordinate the downfall of the city, or at least facilitate it. Her keeping Juggler on a leash gives her an effective tool to look like she's doing something while in fact she's not. Of course as the second coming of Maldavis and Maxwell start to happen (and of course depending on the reactions of my PCs) this may put Tyler in an awkward position.

                      Lucian
                      Hmmmm
                      the idea of him being a pro NRA conservative makes me chuckle. But again, the idea of Lodin sentencing Modius to be prince over a 2000 year old lick that he could make an ally...that just...no. I do like the idea of an elder loosely connected to elders in Chicago where they meet for lawn bowling once a week and talk about the good old days, but I'm not convinced that either he's the right guy, or that it'd work as intended. I need to think about this some more.

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                      • #12
                        My view is Lucien is Prince of Lake Michigan.



                        Mind you, I don't think he necessarily advertises his age.

                        But the thing about Modius is that I think the treatment as incompetent is because he's an homage to Edgar Allen Poe (who he looks like). This is because Modius is someone who has retreated into insanity in order to cope with his loss. Modius didn't lose the Anarch Wars of the 1920s and 1930s in his mansion and has forced reality like the Fall of House of Usher.
                        Last edited by CTPhipps; 01-13-2019, 10:49 PM.


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

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

                          But the thing about Modius is that I think the treatment as incompetent is because he's an homage to Edgar Allen Poe (who he looks like). This is because Modius is someone who has retreated into insanity in order to cope with his loss. Modius didn't lose the Anarch Wars of the 1920s and 1930s in his mansion and has forced reality like the Fall of House of Usher.

                          Oh I get that, but it certainly doesn't work for a longer term political campaign. I think it worked initially because when it was introduced, PCs spent what? 1 game session in Gary, if that? For me, its looking like my players aren't going anywhere for the next while so I need a better solution. Game tonight, so I'll update you guys on the latest developments!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Schwartzung View Post


                            Oh I get that, but it certainly doesn't work for a longer term political campaign. I think it worked initially because when it was introduced, PCs spent what? 1 game session in Gary, if that? For me, its looking like my players aren't going anywhere for the next while so I need a better solution. Game tonight, so I'll update you guys on the latest developments!
                            I think that underestimates just how dangerous Modius is because he's unpredictable. He's a manchild, selfish, and psychotic. He's also someone with nothing to lose. The PCs can defeat Modius because he has lesser resources than most princes and most won't care if they kill him.

                            But he's still an Elder.

                            That's just how I play him.

                            Play him as you want.


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

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                            • #15
                              All right so game got finished and got interesting.
                              I decided on this session to not plan much and let the PCs have their head, so game started slow. PCs went off to feed and looked into Tripps younger brother some more. He is the victim of the Circulatory System they recovered and lied to Modius about. He is still exhibiting signs of heavy drug use and something else. Our Tremere Anton tasted the blood and confirmed it. Suzi visited her "sire" and was warned away from Juggler which she chose to ignore. She also asked about some more details about the Salesman who he found out is from Chicago. Our Tremere, Anton, decided to visit the prince with a small jar filled with Tripps brothers blood. Upon meeting with Alicia (Modius was busy as we'll see later) Anton gave the blood to Alicia claiming that "of course a Tremere would sieze some blood before the victim died. He asked a few questions about Jugglers claims that it was Modius' fault that Gary has ended up in the decline its in and she retorted that it was Lodins fault, not Modius'.

                              Then the coterie reconnected and met with Juggler in a diner. Juggler was with another gentleman (Vinnie's players new character - Pete - an ex cop who investigated the CS in life so knowing that the PCs are looking into human trafficking, Juggler brought him as a favour for the PCs). In the conversation that ensured...well...it didn't go well. Juggler had no interest in dealing with Vinnie and laid the claim that Chuck was killed because the coterie obeyed Modius' "lines on a map" and it never would have happened had the PCs sided with Juggler to begin with. As for Vinnie, Juggler suggested letting Vinnie go and letting Modius deal with a diablarist loose in his city. The coterie was disgusted by this suggestion. Anton began to antagonize Juggler, comparing him to Modius, claiming that he is just as much of a failure, repeating Alicia's claims that it was Lodins fault. This went back and forth with both sides getting more and more incensed until they all walked out. Pretty sure the coterie if on team M now! Or they will foolishly try to stay neutral... Regardless, the new guy followed them out and spoke to them agreeing to look into the license plate of the vehicle used by the CS which seems to be a rental from the Gary Airport in the name of the Salesman's ghoul. He also knows about a trafficking ring in Gary but doesn't know if they are connected.

                              After that, some feeding was desperately needed. Heading off to an abandoned church where they had seen some homeless they thought they'd have an easy meal, but there they found Piggie. Piggie was introduced to the rest of the coterie where he grovelled and plead not to be hit. Piggie is truely a sad character. He is consistently beaten by the citizens of Gary, mostly for being at the wrong place at the wrong time and hearing the wrong things. He has already mentioned how Chuck broke his legs for being at Loft Adiq, and Juggler puts cigarettes out on him. Each time its going to get worse. However he did let a few things slip. 1- he mentioned Chuck's dog that is still at Loft Adiq. (a white pit bull with black spots - say hello to Snoopy!) and 2 - "That she is back" but he lost his train of thought. A bit of foreshadowing that ended up being blown open this game unfortunately. Also, in a funny moment, the PCs realized that the homeless people Piggie surrounds himself with are his herd, and the scene ended with Tripps quote of the night - "damn...you know its bad when Piggie has more shit than us."

                              After leaving Piggie they finally feed then split up to run errands. The next night Anton and Suzi met with Pete (our cop PC) to see what he discovered. Tripps player unfortunately had to bail. Suzi bailed on this meeting to go on a mission. She wanted to spy on Modius. Upon sneaking into his house, she discovered his office. In his office Modius was at his desk having a conversation with...Maldavis! dun Dun DUNNNNNNN!!! Maldavis was getting updated on the "assets" and getting informed about the demise of Vinnie. Of course she points out how pissed off Mr. Hinds will be with the loss of his childe, regardless of the circumstances and how much damage Tommy and his unions can do to Gary. This back and forth goes on and ends with her getting assurances that the rest of the coterie is unaware.

                              I called the game here. Thankfully that last bit I did privately so there is still some surprise to be had, but I was not expecting the PCs to be so brazen so quickly. I'm curious as to what Suzi will do with this information. I suspect that her PC will keep it quiet for a while. Next game I'm going to introduce Williams and his slave trade just to mix them up a bit. Juggler is pissed...he's going to do something but I'm not sure what. Also Tripp and Suzi are both looking for ghouls. Tripp needs someone to look after his brother and Suzi wants a computer person. I also need to introduce another Peanuts character. I'm torn between Peppermint Pattie (Pattie who owns "Mints" - a strip club) and Marcie - a serious BDSM practitioner. Still not quite sure what I'm going to do with Lucy. Or Linus. I imagine he will be a background character they run into. And Franklin! So much to do!

                              Not quite sure where I'm going to go with this next. The players are unravelling the plot quicker than expected, which is great. I think introducing more NPCs will make things interesting. I'm not sure...

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