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  • Maybe, but that doesn't explain why she would still have been apparently legally enslaved by 1880 - legal chattel slavery had been ended in most of the world by that point and over in America 15 years before.

    Edit: For example, that last Western nation to formally ended slavery was Brazil in 1888. But it had already been in decline there since the early 1870s. Informally it continued in America various way - and does until today, sadly. But for all intents and purposes, plantation style chattel slavery ended with the Civil War. I think her timeline is off by somewhere between 15 and 20 years.
    Last edited by Grumpy RPG Reviews; 03-03-2019, 02:05 PM. Reason: Naomi made me do it.

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    • Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post
      Maybe, but that doesn't explain why she would still have been apparently legally enslaved by 1880 - legal chattel slavery had been ended in most of the world by that point and over in America 15 years before.
      It does seem like a timeline mistake.


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

      Comment


      • Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
        I admit I simply haven't come up with a use for Alan Sovereign in 25 years of play and while he's occasionally made an appearance in my game, I've never centered an adventure around him or really had a plot that said, "This is Alan Sovereign's plot."
        As a PC in Chicago, I only saw Sovereign as Ballard's main henchman - the guy we'd typically see if we wanted to discuss things with Ballard simply because we were not important enough for Ballard himself to meet. He was alright as things went, but he certainly wasn't interesting in and of himself as you pointed out. It was a role/trope, not a person we were interacting with. So anything interesting would come merely by the amount of characterization the ST chose to present him with. So it's how most other STs saw him as well.

        When I switched to being ST and actually read the sourcebook, there was one thing that struck me out. And that was Sovereign was one of the few characters who had discovered the secret of diablerie and was trying to learn more about it. Diablerie is now considered to be something that everyone knows about and knows how to do among players. But in first edition and early second edition, it was still a big secret. It was not supposed to be known among the general population of Kindred. The Sabbat knew and practiced it, but otherwise all the Elders suppressed that knowledge. And the game mechanics are not intuitive anyway, so it should be something difficulty to do without a mentor. How do you continue to drink from a vessel once all the vitae is gone? Like the issue of how exactly you turn someone into a new vampire (when exactly do you feed the person your blood as part of the transformation? Because simply having it (like a ghoul or revenant does) not mean they change when killed), it is something to easily elide, but there is a wide gulf between the brief game description and how one would do it in practice.

        So this made Sovereign much more interesting to me. It showed me that Sovereign was someone who could learn some dark secrets, and was not opposed to actively learning more about them. It gave him an edge and showed he was much more dangerous than I had thought. And it also revealed the extent of his ambition, and that his loyalties to his sire, his clan, and the Camarilla were merely nominal. It offered opportunities that he might ally with other scumbucket Kindred like Gordon Keaton and operate in a whole new ecosystem/coterie. And going down these darker paths might lead him even into more occult opportunities. This was a man who sought power regardless of costs even more than most vampires. He was ruthless, but hid it well under a genteel exterior.

        So as an ST, that is how I slowly transitioned him. He was someone as ignorant as most PCs about many kind of occult goings on when the game began, but he was tuned in (by his own informants) and would always pursue those kind of things if the PCs themselves were pursuing it. He started as a very minor rival (more like a hindrance) to the Tremere and other occult power blocs, but gradually became more powerful later on (mostly by knowledge, not power). He could be an enemy of the PCs, but I always liked it better to have him offer to be a patron for investigating the occult side of the WoD for the PCs. He'd be the Walter Donovan or Boris Balkan who bankrolled expeditions, or had that one missing piece the PCs needed. He was ultimately not trustworthy and had his own agenda, but very often I made him the only guy the PCs could turn to for a variety of reasons if they explored that area of the game. In return, that slowly made Sovereign a more important member of the Ventrue, as he was the one most likely to know that kind of world. And as he was rewarded for it by the Ventrue clan board, he kept doubling down on it. Eventually he had his own little cabinet of curiosities, and tangential dealings with Lupines, sorcerers, and the like. He ended up being very important in introducing Gulfora into the game by working with the PCs to uncover what exactly was down in the sewers.

        None of that was inherent in Sovereign's description, but it was how I slowly developed the character (not all intentionally).

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        • Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
          ["Superheroes with fangs" often gets derided as a playstyle but I think it's not remotely a bad thing because Forever Knight was a very good vampire story. It had drama, pathos, regret, and horror.
          Like many tropes, everything depends on how it is actually done. My go to example of a "good" vampire is Hannibal King from Marvel's Tomb of Dracula. He was turned against his choice, and did everything he could to not prey on humans. He did not seek power. He retained his humanity and avoided circumstances where he'd have to face moral dilemmas. That would seem to be a boring character, but his job as a private investigator actually made him interesting.

          In VtM terms, he'd probably be embraced by a Gangrel for whatever strange reason and abandoned. He'd be a vegetary who feeds only on farm animals or through chilled blood he gets from local butchers or what not. He'd stay away from most vampire politics, but stays informed since he knows things can happen which could make him a victim, so he keeps tabs on people and knows when he needs to lay low. At that same time, he has excellent detective skills, so he can be useful in all sorts of ways to vampires who lack them and who do not have influence in the police. So he can play several different roles to PCs.

          In my home made chronicles, I strive to have at least one vampire NPC like this - not someone "heroic" per se, but who really hates being a vampire and does his best to avoid doing evil. Usually there are various vampires like that, but only one who truly succeeds as the others actually do want power and such.

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          • Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
            [There's something inherently funny about a Kindred politician as well because there's nothing about Kindred society that's democratic so a lot of his efforts in getting people to like him are wasted. In vampire society, it doesn't matter if 99 out of 100 vampires like you if the 1 vampire who dislikes you is Helena.
            Such a Kindred would be very important during Conclaves. The Camarilla does have a democratic element to it. It is just that many STs don't know what to do with Conclaves since there are too many vampires in the same place at any one time, and they don't know what kind of stories can be generated from that or from whatever is on the Conclave's agenda. This is one thing (like the Astral Plane) that I felt should have been developed more in ST resources.

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            • And the one you have all been waiting for.

              Sir Olaf, The One Eyed King a.k.a Lodin

              Type: NPC

              Synopsis: Back from the dead assholes!

              Review: Lodin is easily one of my favorite Vampire: The Masquerade characters and he's pretty much what I think of when I think of "Prince of the City." Modius may have been the first but Lodin was the O.G. in all other respects. He's the basis for an entire playstyle which is the antagonistic relationship between PCs and the Prince. Revised moved away from the idea of this basic campaign structure but I always felt it remained the "core" idea of the game and we saw it revived for Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines with Prince La Croix being close to an {{Expy}} of Lodin.

              The appeal of Lodin is that he's a bastard but he's a magnificent bastard. While every table's Lodin was different, the basic assumption of Lodin was always that he was the Mob Boss of Chicago. He was handsome, charismatic, duplicitous, scheming, and while the puppet of the Primogen--was still powerful in his own right. He was what a lot of vampires wanted to be and the fact that he had the Feeding restriction of "Beautiful Women" made him even more a foil for player characters who could see themselves as Lodin in 100 or so years.

              Basically, he was David Xanatos before David Xanatos.



              Indeed, if you want from the Anarch perspective (*cue groans of, "Sweet Caine, Charles, AGAIN with the Anarchs!?"), Lodin is actually a fascinating example of one. He went to Chicago as a Neonate, lied his ass off, and overthrow Prince Maxwell the same way that many PCs would go on to overthrow Lodin himself. Yeah, he immediately became the lapdog of the Camarilla and Queen Anne in particular but he had a century long run when he wasn't much older himself. In that respect, he's a mirror image to Kevin Jackson himself.

              That's why I'm kind of iffy about "King of the Homeless" Lodin because he's such a different character in every conceivable way. He's now addicted to drugs, living on the streets, and controlling an army of street kids while probably ghouling a couple of crocodiles. In short, he's less like David Xanatos now and more like the Sewer King. Props if you remember that episode. Less Ventrue and more Nosferatu.



              I'm going to have to say that I think this isn't a terrible idea but I feel like his entry should have incorporated methods to talk about how he might be repaired. Basically, if someone were to use Thaumaturgy or vampire blood to heal his horrifying scars or if he were to have a someone clean his blood out (only a methuselah or diablerie of an Elder will do). Maybe even discover that he was driven to this state by Dementation and that only powerful Dominate or Presence might fix his shattered mind. You know, so the fact he's a survivor can be useful to a campaign. Strangely, this entry on him doesn't even explain how people would react to the discovery he's still undead.

              The mystery of how Lodin survived the events of Under a Blood Red Moon are also left opaque, though the implications are that he encountered a bunch of werewolves and they tore him to shreds but the fact he had FORTITUDE, BABY, FORTITUDE kept him alive (the most underrated Ventrue discipline by far). I think they could have gone more into this with maybe some of the following or a side box offering possibilities.

              * Lodin had a body double that he Embraced and Dominated into believing he was Lodin. The real Lodin was intercepted during his attempt to flee Chicago.
              * Lodin was resurrected Lazarus style by Gulfora the Succubus, Nerissa, or even Lorraine using Dark Thamaturgy given to her by the Cult of Lilith or Baali. Because DEMONS when you need magic beyond what mortals can accomplish.
              * Lodin had Samael Haight's old necklace given to him by a Pentex executive and is actually immortal but his resurrection (and subsequent trip through Malpheas--what Lodin thinks was hell) has royally screwed up his brain.
              * Helena actually rescued Lodin and dominated the Lupines, Anarchs, or Sabbat into believing that they'd killed him. She then abandoned him after he displeased her (inflicting his current tortured state on them).
              * Son rescued Lodin and used Dementation so they all believe they killed them. Then Son tortured Lodin for decades thereafter until he recently escaped, a shell of a former man.
              * It's not actually Lodin at all but a Tzimsice or Sabbat Malkavian who thinks he's Lodin. Maybe some random London vampire that Menele has Dominated into believing he's Lodin.
              * Olaf is not PHYSICALLY Lodin but a low willpower Ventrue of the 11th or 12th generation that Lodin's Wraith possesses 24/7 but only is able to excert a minimal control over. He's possibly permanently bound to the body by a Hecata ritual but it's the diet coke of resurrection.

              I feel like there's a lot of interesting avenues they could have made suggestions for and custom tailored for your game (like the Nerissa angle that suggested multiple possibilities for her) but just wasn't. He's a well-written character but I think they could have done a bit more with him. Also, perhaps, what Jackson or Maxwell or other people might do if they ever found him.

              APPROPRIATE COLDPLAY SONG:

              Last edited by CTPhipps; 03-04-2019, 10:05 AM.


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

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              • I was always a huge fan of Modius and it's interesting that Lodin has basically suffered the exact same fate that he inflicted on his former rival. Lodin left him to rot in a decaying mansion, surrounded by poverty, pondering old glories and brainwashing the hell out of everyone around him to pretend that he was still relevant. The big difference is that Lodin has apparently been "prince" of the Chicago poorest districts without anyone noticing for decades. I'm really inclined to think his story would benefit from having recently come out of torpor (and still horribly injured). I think someone, the Nosferatu at the very least, would have reported him alive otherwise.

                But in a very real way, Lodin got punished the same way he punished others.


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

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                • Edward Neally

                  Type: NPC

                  Preview: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects.../posts/2330905

                  Synopsis: Defector from decadence.

                  Review: Edward Neally is one of the best written characters on this list that is finally coming to an end and one of the ones that made me realize I would have to support this book. Do I wish I'd supported other elements (like bought an Associate Developer so I could be reading THE CHICAGO FOLIO and LET THE STREETS RUN RED? Yes, yes I do. It would have been better than buying art for NPCs but I still am very glad to have done so because Edward Neally is what "sold" me on this.

                  It's just a really evocative piece of fiction and multilayered Kindred write-up. Edward Neally was a neurotic jobsworth in life with issues of depression as well as addiction, only to become a neurotic jobsworth with issues of depression as well as addiction in the Camarilla. Even his joining the Sabbat didn't make him feel any better about himself because his Sabbat "sponsor" kidnapped him and forced him into the vauldrie, which pretty much goes against every one of their stated principles.

                  Edward Neally is notably the victim of one of the early failres of V:TM in the adventure module Blood Bond. I'm one of the people who owned and read the original module and, well, am not too terribly fond of it. The author basically threw out everything we knew about Edward Neally and wrote him as an abusive rapist who drove his poor Sabbat childe to VILLAINY while also keeping his childer's ONE TRUE LOVE as a slave. Said childe eventually enacting a righteous revenge that has almost nothing to do with the PCs.

                  The book references a few events from the module but, thankfully, paints a much more sympathetic and interesting portrayal of Edward Neally. Basically, he's managed to take advantage of all the confusion in the Sabbat and beg for his old job back. He turned over everything he knew and given Kevin Jackson's status in the city, I am fully prepared to believe that meant he wiped out all of the Sabbat in the city. Also, if not for the Beckoning, I'm inclined to think it's also why Patricia Bollingbrook decided to take a long vacation from the city.

                  Neally's life is still shit, though. He's penniless, despised by every other vampire in the city, and his grasp of humanity is tenuous at best. I think he's actually way more interesting this way, though, because you really get the sense this is NOT the kind of guy who ever would have indulged in the dark horrific side of the Sabbat voluntarily. So he might actually be able to rebuild his humanity from 3 to maybe 5.

                  Which is not something many vampires are ever capable of doing. It is the rare undead who can climb out of the pit.

                  Also, it gives Neally a reason to hang around the PCs because if they show him the slightest bit of kindness I expect he'd follow them around like their vampire butler and maybe put his extensive knowledge of the city in their service. The Anarchs probably wouldn't normally take him but he'd hang out with anyone if they offer a helping hand.


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

                  Comment


                  • Having Lodin back from the dead is interesting because... what the heck do you do with him?

                    I mean, the obvious go-to ambition for an ousted prince like him is "become prince again!" but his actions don't bear that out. He pines for old glories and would sure like to be Prince Lodin again, but he mainly spends his nights keeping his head down as much as possible. The guy literally begs for change on street corners. He's not a threat to Kevin Jackson, or even anyone besides the mortals unfortunate enough to toss a few nickels and dimes into his plastic cup.

                    So as a PC, what do you do with the guy? You could flatter his ego and draw out what secrets he still knows about Chicago. You could try to heal him, but given how many Kindred would want him dead, is that even a good idea (if it's even possible)? There's not many ways Lodin can make a comeback short of a full bid for praxis, and that's a challenging proposition even if he wasn't as crazy as a Malkavian. You could just sell him out to Kevin Jackson, who'd no doubt handsomely reward such an action. There's always diablerie, too, if you have even fewer scruples.

                    There's not an obvious answer. It'd be a lot of fun to introduce a group of PCs to him and see what the heck they choose to do. The only thing that seems like an objectively bad idea is leaving him alone, because it's probably only a matter of time until the Nosferatu or someone else notice he's still undead. For that reason, I'd agree it's a good idea if he spent most of the past twenty years in torpor.

                    I don't recall if Modius is still around, but I LOVE the thought of those two has-beens meeting each other again. A kindly-hearted PC could even reintroduce them to show the folly of continuing to pine for the past.

                    I agree that a "What Happened to Lodin?" "Well, buncha possible things. Here's a few ideas to get you started..." sidebar would've been a good inclusion too.


                    Blood and Bourbon, my New Orleans-based Vampire chronicle.

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                    • Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                      I think they could have gone more into this with maybe some of the following or a side box offering possibilities.
                      * He is alive owning the True Brujah Temporis sheanigans.

                      Originally posted by False Epiphany View Post
                      Having Lodin back from the dead is interesting because... what the heck do you do with him?
                      This is my only issue with the character - how do you integrate him into a story? I suppose he could be a kind of evil Fagin character (of Oliver Twist) and only revealed to be Lodin in some final confrontation with Jackson and others in some elysium event over run by street urchins. But that requires the narrative structure of a reccuring villain like a TV show or comic book. In VtM the PCs are too likely to just murder Olaf-Fagin and his minions for the confrontation/reveal to ever happen.
                      Last edited by Grumpy RPG Reviews; 03-04-2019, 12:33 PM. Reason: Lodin made me do it.

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                      • Mind you, I'm also inclined to think that a great twist is Olaf One-Eye is just another persona of Evan Klein.

                        Evan Klein is fixated on father figures and Lodin was the ultimate one for his early vampire years. It could be that he created the new Lodin persona as a broken and degenerate man. Especially since Evan's father may have been abusive.You could argue that Olaf is slowly aking over Evan's mind as all of his personalities are fundamentally submissive to a father-figure.

                        But maybe that was just how I'd handle it.



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

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post
                          I have a minor issue with her timeline. The text described her birth into slavery in 1860. Yes, it still existed then. However, the text also reads "first 20 years" of her life about the separation of her family, and suggests she encountered her sire while still a slave. Slavery ended legally in 1865, not 1880. Is the text suggesting slavery continued until 1880? If so, why would a vampire oppose such a thing?

                          Is it clearly stated where was she a slave before being embraced? Her being a slave in Brazil that migrated to North America and - changed names - sometime after her embrace might give some wiggle room to fit this timeline.

                          That said, haven't really read her background to say and admit just adjusting dates in a generation might be simpler. Not to mention having a Ventrue not of his brood embraced at least in the 1860s around, when Lodin himself become kindred in the 1850s, should make him justifiedly unconfortable, what is kind of a bonus.... Damn, it would make loads of sense based on what you have said of her worldview for her to have come to the city because of Maxwell (kind of like Inyanga), either before or just a little after the Great Fire, making the dynamics between her and Lodin as clanmates even more strained.

                          Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                          Edward Neally is notably the victim of one of the early failres of V:TM in the adventure module Blood Bond. I'm one of the people who owned and read the original module and, well, am not too terribly fond of it. The author basically threw out everything we knew about Edward Neally and wrote him as an abusive rapist who drove his poor Sabbat childe to VILLAINY while also keeping his childer's ONE TRUE LOVE as a slave. Said childe eventually enacting a righteous revenge that has almost nothing to do with the PCs.
                          Oh yeah, Blood Bond is a terrible, terrible case of writer dissonance from either the NPC or the fact the adventure should be about the players first and foremost.
                          Ok, not like it doesn't happen in other places with VtM's adventures, but this one was among the first and most heavy-handed, imho.

                          That said, the essentials are not utterly unsalveagable and i remember one past thread with some nifty musings on how to recycle/tweak the adventure.

                          Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                          It's just a really evocative piece of fiction and multilayered Kindred write-up. Edward Neally was a neurotic jobsworth in life with issues of depression as well as addiction, only to become a neurotic jobsworth with issues of depression as well as addiction in the Camarilla. Even his joining the Sabbat didn't make him feel any better about himself because his Sabbat "sponsor" kidnapped him and forced him into the vauldrie, which pretty much goes against every one of their stated principles.
                          I have just read the kickstarter's take of Neally - and his terribly messy relationship with Foster - and must say i liked it very much indeed. It also made me think not a little of some of the characters in O Ateneu, a most unexpected surprise.
                          Last edited by Baaldam; 03-04-2019, 01:48 PM.

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                          • I quite like the new Lodin/Olaf. True, he's a bit trickier to get back into the story, but i think his status could weave him into so many other plots. Because he's so broken, his motives aren't as clear and he then becomes malleable to a bunch of plots. I can see how we could get really bitter, jealous and full of hate and just want to bring the city down. Perhaps in a more lucid moment, he betrays some of the many secrets he knows about the Primogen and the inner workings of the city. Perhaps this time he sides with Maldavis for revenge on those that manipulated him and left him for dead. He must know about Helena, as he's off her radar now, perhaps this is his cover for taking her out.

                            I also like the fact he's got unhealed damage, Personally i see it as him wearing it as a reminder of what it cost him. Psychologically he needs it, or is unable to bring himself to fix himself. So often we read Elders backgrounds and see that they had some calamitous event in their history, a century in Torpor, devastating damage etc. Very rarely do we see the middle part of that play out. I also think it will be super cool as well, if at some point he gets his confidence back and then just restored himself in front of others - the look on their faces if they don't know...

                            As for Neally - gotta love the fact one of his aliases is Theodore Logan! Excellent!

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                            • How to get Lodin back into a chronicle?

                              A montage of him working out, shouting at underlings, walking into and out of metro trains at Chicago stations wearing better and better outfits each time, and marching in through the automatic doors of a skyscraper...

                              ... before being thrown through the top floor window by Kevin Jackson.



                              Matthew Dawkins
                              In-House Developer for Onyx Path Publishing


                              Website: http://www.matthewdawkins.com
                              Patreon: http://https://www.patreon.com/matthewdawkins

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                              • Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                                Mind you, I'm also inclined to think that a great twist is Olaf One-Eye is just another persona of Evan Klein.

                                Evan Klein is fixated on father figures and Lodin was the ultimate one for his early vampire years. It could be that he created the new Lodin persona as a broken and degenerate man. Especially since Evan's father may have been abusive.You could argue that Olaf is slowly aking over Evan's mind as all of his personalities are fundamentally submissive to a father-figure.

                                But maybe that was just how I'd handle it.

                                That would be good - Evan having diablerized Lodin or not under another persona optional.

                                As an aside, has anyone considered the possibility that the abusive figure in Evan Klein's past might actually have been his mother, blaming every perceived wrong she saw in her child in an absent father he never truly knew? Because it's something that has always nagged me about how Raymond and the other personas seem to project themselves through their imaginary father figures, as more of some sort of twisted hero worship of someone he never truly knew than the kind heavy imprint an actual abusive father might leave.
                                Last edited by Baaldam; 03-04-2019, 02:35 PM.

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