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[WIR] Chicago by Night 5th Edition

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  • Older gamers should still say the second album of Baby Chorus was titled "Bigger than Jesus," just to see who catches the reference.

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    • Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post
      Older gamers should still say the second album of Baby Chorus was titled "Bigger than Jesus," just to see who catches the reference.
      Now I'm imagining Bigger than Caine and Ashwood Abbey Road.


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

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      • This is supposedly the ritual face makeup of a Mycenaean woman. It is interesting to think that Portia might go to the Succubus Club wearing this look on a costume night.

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        • Sorry for the delay guys. I was unfortuantely taken from my work by the need to do stuff for my sixth SUPERVILLAINY SAGA book: THE FUTURE OF SUPERVILLAINY.

          So, I'll be getting back to our wonderful re-read now.
          Last edited by CTPhipps; 05-10-2019, 03:05 PM.


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

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          • Coteries (Remaining)

            There's not much else to say about the remaining coteries that have been mostly covered in their individual sections so I'm mostly going to summarize the interesting facts I think these sections talk about.

            The Blood Disco: Surprisingly, my statement the Blood Disco isn't just "kooky" but a serious threat to not only the Camarilla in Chicago but Chicago as a whole is laid out. Erzullie and Adhze have created a pyramid of power that would do the Tremere power. They have recruited a near endless supply of Caitiff in both Chicago as well as other cities with a network that spans the country. The weaknesses of the Blood Disco are Francois Mamuwalde and Bennett Steadman who both want to advance to become leaders of the organization but can't because their mentors are immortal.

            Bennett Steadman is listed as someone who has kept himself half-apart from the Blood Disco for reasons that aren't fully clear but I'm going to make it clear in my games (at least as clear as something he'd publicly deny) that it's a mixture of homophobia and religious discomfort. Bennett is young enough that he still identifies strongly as heterosexual. Bennett also finds the whole idea of worshiping Lilith and blood rituals as discomforting even though (and because) he is arreligious himself. A small part of his danger to the group would be, in my opinion, that Kevin Jackson is someone that he would admire and want to emulate. Ergo, he's a Camarilla in Anarch's clothing.

            We also meet Chi Chi Villalobos who is the head of the Blood Disco in LA and a potential rival for the Chicago chapter. I liked this as it gives a ready made adventure hook for Kindred politics. Assassinate, blackmail, or whatever when she visits.

            The Tremere: The Tremere chantry is in a state of dissaray and it's interesting how everyone is basically just doing their own thing. Dusable is Regent In Name Only due to the fact that Erichtho is not only older than him but also more powerful. There's also no more powerful vampires among them so it's a Tremere chantry where everyone does their own thing. Dusable wants to prpare for a war and doesn't believe the Council of Seven is dead while Erichtho does. There's also the fact Sun Che is an insane serial killer (even more than other vampires) and possibly demonically possessed. Really, the biggest surprise is that Helena not only lives at the Tremere Chantry but she's also let Dusable know her true identity. One thing is this section retcons Beckett's Jyhad Diary since that book implied it was an in-universe document and would have revealed Helena's true identity to the Kindred public.

            I think the Tremere are in a good position to allow player characters to be able to have a larger amount of freedom than previous editions if they join. However, that's not why people enjoy freedom to begin with.

            The Government: This basically just describes the Camarilla power structure in the city with Kevin Jackson on top, Alan Sovereign more or less filling up the paperwork element, and Damien as the legbreaker. I actually like the political details expressed here because it does show some cracks in the Jackson administration.

            Alan Sovereign isn't trusted in the slightest by Kevin Jackson and this is going to cause him trouble because he's actually probably the only person Jackson SHOULD trust among the Ventrue. Alan has hitched his wagon to Jackson and being leaned on is only going to cause resentment. Damien is thoroughly corrupted by Kevin Jackson and I think there's hints that Jackson has adopted a fatherly position to the Sheriff despite the fact the latter is older than him. Damien has sold all of his friends down the river and is a Low Generation punching things machine. I don't think there's any chance for redemption for Damien, especially as the reason he sold out the Anarchs was so...petty.

            We also have Alex Santos as the Scourge.

            The Government coterie is propped up by Critias (who is having his millennia-long crisis), Rosa Hernandez who represents no one but is a strong servant of Gangrel, and Jason Newberry who just does whatever he wants. "Khalid" is ostensibly propping up Jackson but is a very good possible alternative Prince. Marcel doesn't care one way or the other if Jackson or someone else has the Prince's seat while Annabelle is already sizing herself up for it because she's sick of "just" being the Toreador Primogen (I think she's the candidate most likely for Helena to abandon Jackson's support for).

            The Nihilists: I have to say I really love this collection of Anarchs because, well, I am absolutely in love with the Anarch movement both night and day. The Nihilists are a collection of Anarchs who are exactly the extreme reactionary Left (Right?) of the Anarch Center. The fact that SHERIFF is now one of the Anarchs is even more ridiculous but makes sense since he just wants to burn the Jackson administration to the ground. There's not much to say about these guys except they're the worst of the Anarch movement and I am happy to use them.
            Last edited by CTPhipps; 05-11-2019, 07:02 PM.


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

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            • Is it wrong to say I would kill for a peak at THE CHICAGO FOLIO or LET THE STREETS RUN RED now?

              Every Monday I check the notes and just can't wait for the Second Draft to get done.

              Do you think there's any chance we'll get to see the manuscripts before publication ala Chicago by Night?


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

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              • Lasombra

                This is the section of the book I've been waiting for and a lot of fans who had no interest in running Chicago chose to buy the book for. It's a section that I think is one of the best in the books and fully justifies this being the Clan Book: Lasombra + Chicago by Night compilation that it is. It's a bit on the short side but like Lore of the Clans, I don't think it needs to be poarticularly long to be awesome.

                The opening of the Lasombra section is great as it is a confession for a Camarilla pyre by Carolina Valez. I've always been a fan of Carolina Valez so I would hope she'd somehow escape this but it doesn't hit me quite so hard as the possibility of Talley killing Lucita does. Still, it's shocking to see one of the greats of the Lasombra clan go down like this.

                The book modernizes the Lasombra clan from the Dark Ages. Rather than going with the Sabbat "rich Spanish and Italian people when not just people they picked off the street who looked charismatic as well as smart", they decided to update the religious angle. This makes sense because religion, including corruption of religion, hasn't changed that much since the Dark Sides.
                While the Followers of Set are decent enough people to do televangelists and other big box churches, the truth is they don't quite fit. This is because Followers of Set, unlike real life Satanists, are actual true believers. The Followers of Set, arguably, are some of the most religious people in the setting.

                The Lasombra, by contrast, are perfect as the religious hypocrites of the setting. They don't care about God any more than any politician cares about his party (my cynicism is showing here). Instead, God and religion are merely tools for social control. Christian, Muslim, Jew, or Scientology--they're all useful for the Keeper who wants to scam his followers for money, blood, or favors.

                I really like this and do think it works better with the Camarilla (I've almost stopped pronouncing it "Cama-Rilla" and started saying "Cama-Ria" exclusively). The Sabbat just doesn't have enough ties to the regular human race to really make that worthwhile. A typical Sabbat wakes up, prays to Caine, raises some hell, conducts some minor sect business, maybe kills people for their shirt, and then goes to bed. That doesn't leave much room to build a mortal infrastructure and it's why I always felt the Revenant Families were the "Lucius Fox" of the Sabbat.
                A lot of good stuff is here. Now for the bad.

                Compulsion

                The Lasombra suffer pathological psychological crises whenever they fail at something. This is terrible because it makes them not only as mad as a Malkavian but it also is even more delibatating than their actual Clan Affliction. Given the Lasombra will always have failures because their clan structure is based on, "Shit rolls downhill" I hope they just flat out remove this from the finished product.

                Bane

                I think that there was always going to be issues with the fact that a lot of people exploit the whole security features, photographs, and other stuff. After all, a lot of cat burglars and thieves love the fact you can't be seen in the modern surveilance state. Here, you just become a really useless blur and it's arguably effective of your ability to use cellphones and so on. I'm not entirely satisfied with, "Lasombra look like Aiden from WATCH_DOGS." I'm not sure what is a good substitute to balance it all out. Honestly, I'm inclined to just go with the idea that Lasombra don't show up on mirrors and reflective surfaces but do show up on recording devices. I'd also maybe add a weakness to silver to go along with it (even if that is perhaps too debilitating).


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

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                • You know what's ironic? The compulsion the lasombra have could almost make tgem heroic in a sense,they can never give up,never surrender. always forced by the beast to claw tjeir way up any hierarchy they are in they don't compromise. Those are usually heroic traits,but the Clan twists such nobility into brutal darwinism. Making the Ladombra quite literally anti-heroes

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                  • Oh, guys if you ever wonder what sort of vampire game I runs or novel I'd run, the Maven of the Eventide did a review of STRAIGHT OUTTA FANGTON. Needless to say, it says how I prefer my vampires how they deal with humanity.

                    Last edited by CTPhipps; 05-15-2019, 09:15 AM.


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

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                    • Woo hoo! These three are now in Development.
                      • Chicago Folio/Dossier (Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition)
                      • Let The Streets Run Red (Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition)
                      • Cults of the Blood Gods (Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition)
                      So, The Gentleman Gamer, how far into the manuscript's development do you have to be in order to give us a hint of what we'll see in any of these? Yes, it's an outrageous question but fan is short for fanatic.
                      Last edited by CTPhipps; 05-15-2019, 07:31 PM.


                      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
                        This is terrible because it makes them not only as mad as a Malkavian but it also is even more delibatating than their actual Clan Affliction. Given the Lasombra will always have failures because their clan structure is based on, "Shit rolls downhill" I hope they just flat out remove this from the finished product.
                        On the one hand, I agree and I have problems - thematically and mechanically - with doubling down on clan flaws, especially one this specific. On the other hand, these are the fuckers who founded the Sabbat and then survived Sabbat leadership for 500 years. And vampire existence is supposed to be a nightmare of pain and darkness.

                        It also paints an interesting picture by implication. This is an entire clan of highly competitive, Type-A personality vampires. What are they facing in the crusade that makes surrendering to their enemies in the Camarilla seem like a good idea in comparison?

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                        • Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post

                          On the one hand, I agree and I have problems - thematically and mechanically - with doubling down on clan flaws, especially one this specific. On the other hand, these are the fuckers who founded the Sabbat and then survived Sabbat leadership for 500 years. And vampire existence is supposed to be a nightmare of pain and darkness.

                          It also paints an interesting picture by implication. This is an entire clan of highly competitive, Type-A personality vampires. What are they facing in the crusade that makes surrendering to their enemies in the Camarilla seem like a good idea in comparison?
                          It's the more practical result of this in the fact that all vampires are, by nature, a bunch of sadistic control-freaks with the possible exception of the Nosferatu and Salubri. The big thing is this flaw means that Lasombra are SHITTY leaders by nature as they take a two dice penalty when they need their skills the most. You're not a good leader if everything is going swimmingly as good leaders are defined when things are going poorly.

                          If the Siege of Chicago fails, this Compulsion doens't encourage them to do better, it causes them to have an existential crisis and become less good at everything.

                          At least that's how I see it happening.


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

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                          • Remember also that clan compulsions only come up when you have a messy critical or a bestial failure, and even then only 1/10 of the time. They're wonderfully thematic, but mechanically are a very small part of the actual flaw.

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                            • Oblivion

                              This is what a lot of the people who bought Chicago by Night bought this book for. The conversion for Obtenebration. It's not really the conversion for Obtenebration and Necromancy because the two power sets will come with different power sets. This is mostly the "Obtenebration" side of Oblivion while presumably we'll get the Necromancy side of Oblivion in the Blood Cults book. I have to say I find the combination of Obtenebration and Necromancy one of the more peculiar choices. It's not necessarily a bad merger but it is a strange one. I can't help but think that combining Quietus and Obtenebration would have probably been a more natural fit. Possibly the same with combining Necromancy and Blood Sorcery.

                              Then again, I've been kind of iffy on the transition of the Assamites to the Children of Haqim. While they were kind of a terrible concept before, it wasn't necessarily a bad one for gaming to have a clan of Arabic ninjas as we all run "Superheroes with Fangs" to an extent and the League of Assassins/The Hand isn't necessarily so much racist as it is just a group you need to sometimes send mooks out with.

                              However, that's not the direction they chose to go and the basic question is what did I think of this? Well, I think this is a well-balanced and well-done version of Obtenebration. I felt the original was a bit overpowered and this is a more balanced version bordering on a little underpowered. But plenty of room to expand, I believe.

                              One thing I like is that this really does make a lot of the lore about Obtenebration make sense now. Before there was "Abyss Mysticism" and a lot of talk about what the Abyss was, what it meant, and how it caused your brain to implode. Now, the Abyss being explicitly the Underworld (or center of it) makes sense as people kind of have OPINIONS on Hell/The Underworld. Getting obsessed with that makes perfect sense and it also is the kind of thing you can and should make rituals fore because Necromancy IS a form of magic.

                              I will say this feels kind of like half a write-up given that the Necromancy aspect is underdeveloped and probably won't be expanded upon until Blood Cults.


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

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                              • Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                                Oblivion

                                This is what a lot of the people who bought Chicago by Night bought this book for. The conversion for Obtenebration. It's not really the conversion for Obtenebration and Necromancy because the two power sets will come with different power sets. This is mostly the "Obtenebration" side of Oblivion while presumably we'll get the Necromancy side of Oblivion in the Blood Cults book. I have to say I find the combination of Obtenebration and Necromancy one of the more peculiar choices. It's not necessarily a bad merger but it is a strange one. I can't help but think that combining Quietus and Obtenebration would have probably been a more natural fit. Possibly the same with combining Necromancy and Blood Sorcery.

                                Then again, I've been kind of iffy on the transition of the Assamites to the Children of Haqim. While they were kind of a terrible concept before, it wasn't necessarily a bad one for gaming to have a clan of Arabic ninjas as we all run "Superheroes with Fangs" to an extent and the League of Assassins/The Hand isn't necessarily so much racist as it is just a group you need to sometimes send mooks out with.

                                However, that's not the direction they chose to go and the basic question is what did I think of this? Well, I think this is a well-balanced and well-done version of Obtenebration. I felt the original was a bit overpowered and this is a more balanced version bordering on a little underpowered. But plenty of room to expand, I believe.

                                One thing I like is that this really does make a lot of the lore about Obtenebration make sense now. Before there was "Abyss Mysticism" and a lot of talk about what the Abyss was, what it meant, and how it caused your brain to implode. Now, the Abyss being explicitly the Underworld (or center of it) makes sense as people kind of have OPINIONS on Hell/The Underworld. Getting obsessed with that makes perfect sense and it also is the kind of thing you can and should make rituals fore because Necromancy IS a form of magic.

                                I will say this feels kind of like half a write-up given that the Necromancy aspect is underdeveloped and probably won't be expanded upon until Blood Cults.
                                What did you think of the alternative names for Oblivion/Obtenebration?

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