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  • Originally posted by Bluecho View Post
    Personally, I dislike the idea of directly conflating the Underworld and the Abyss, one to one.

    I LIKE that the Abyss was its own thing. Strange and ineffable and impenetrable as a granite octopus. It was alien, and really hammered home the idea that Abyss Mystics were delving into some freaky, disturbing knowledge when they stared too long into it.

    If it's just the Underworld...that's disappointing. It pigeon-holes Obtenebration in with the Giovanni. All for the sake of fitting them and everyone else into a narrow selection of Disciplines. We have the same sort of pigeon-holing with Protean getting both Serpentis and Vicissitude shoved into it. Nothing is permitted outside pre-determined boxes, no matter that it makes each component less unique.
    For me, I very much of the old Buddhist story that if you got a bunch of blind monks together to describe an elephant then they would come up with 13 different ways of describing it--which is religion in a nutshell.

    So, I like the idea there's a single World of Darkness and that all the various factions are describing different elements of it in a way that they don't have a complete understanding of it. So, I enjoy the idea the Abyss and Underworld are one in the same because it gives different perspectives on it. My players don't necessarily agree and it's what prevented me as a Storyteller from wholesale wiping the Kuei-Jin out and replacing them with Eastern Cainites.

    Similarly, I like the idea of Protean/Serpentis/Vicissitude being merged together because the idea of archetype disciplines you can customize seems like it's more flexible than less.

    Originally posted by Draconis View Post

    I imagine we'll find out more in Cults, but I don't think the Abyss is going to be the Underworld. My guess: the Abyss is the place beyond the Shadowlands and the Underworld, where ghosts eventually go and don't come back. It's what the old Esilio ritual accesses, and not someplace a necromancer can actually go in person.

    I mean…surely allowing access to all the Protean mechanics can make each Minister more unique, since it's no longer "Setites can hypnotize people with their eyes, have poisonous fangs, turn into a snake, and remove people's hearts because, uh, Egypt I guess. Nothing else. Ever."? In V20, some Setites had Protean already—because they worship Tezcatlipoca in the form of a jaguar instead of a snake, and old-style Serpentis was so utterly inflexible that changing the flavor of one power required switching to an entirely different Discipline altogether. (Recent books also admit that the Ancient Egyptian deity was never really associated with snakes irl; the "snake-as-corrupter" idea really only became mainstream with the rise of Christianity.)

    Back to Oblivion, though: in-universe, BJD mentions a wary alliance between the Lasombra and the Giovanni in Venice; they're trying to pool their occult knowledge, with the Giovanni learning Abyss Mysticism and the Lasombra learning Necromancy, in the hopes of making both disciplines stronger. I imagine V5's Oblivion is the result of that knowledge-sharing. ("Hey, all your powers draw from the all-consuming void beyond the Underworld where reality itself ceases to be defined? Cool, we know how to traverse the Underworld, maybe we can make that power-channelling more effective.")
    One thing I regret about 5E is they don't even make a token Forgotten Realms-esque attempt to explain why everything is different now.

    I'd have appreciated something, anything really, like "The Withering altered how Disciplines worked."

    Originally posted by Draconis View Post

    I imagine we'll find out more in Cults, but I don't think the Abyss is going to be the Underworld. My guess: the Abyss is the place beyond the Shadowlands and the Underworld, where ghosts eventually go and don't come back. It's what the old Esilio ritual accesses, and not someplace a necromancer can actually go in person.

    I mean…surely allowing access to all the Protean mechanics can make each Minister more unique, since it's no longer "Setites can hypnotize people with their eyes, have poisonous fangs, turn into a snake, and remove people's hearts because, uh, Egypt I guess. Nothing else. Ever."? In V20, some Setites had Protean already—because they worship Tezcatlipoca in the form of a jaguar instead of a snake, and old-style Serpentis was so utterly inflexible that changing the flavor of one power required switching to an entirely different Discipline altogether. (Recent books also admit that the Ancient Egyptian deity was never really associated with snakes irl; the "snake-as-corrupter" idea really only became mainstream with the rise of Christianity.)

    Back to Oblivion, though: in-universe, BJD mentions a wary alliance between the Lasombra and the Giovanni in Venice; they're trying to pool their occult knowledge, with the Giovanni learning Abyss Mysticism and the Lasombra learning Necromancy, in the hopes of making both disciplines stronger. I imagine V5's Oblivion is the result of that knowledge-sharing. ("Hey, all your powers draw from the all-consuming void beyond the Underworld where reality itself ceases to be defined? Cool, we know how to traverse the Underworld, maybe we can make that power-channelling more effective.")
    Cool write-up.
    Last edited by CTPhipps; 05-27-2019, 03:47 PM.


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

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    • Some new art samples that the website has shared for CHICAGO BY NIGHT 5E:







      Not sure who the Middle guy is but this is all brilliant art and hope todays' Monday update gives us another piece of CBN art.


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

      Comment


      • Yes, CHICAGO BY NIGHT is no longer in art direction but layout!

        It's almost out!

        Now if only we could get Manuscript Approval for the other books, The Gentleman Gamer could give us some more hints on what they contain.


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

        Comment


        • Adventure Hooks part 2

          The Death of Kings: The player characters become aware of Lodin's continued survival. They also end up discovering his touchstone. I felt this was a little underwhelming given how important "Olaf" is to the history of the city.

          Lower than Dirt: The player characters are hired by Eletria's ghoul Yvonne in order to make a Halloween bash in a graveyard. The player characters can either force the man to grant them a permit via Disciplines or Bribe him or fail. This is a fairly nondescript adventure that can end horribly. This is notably the only time I believe Eletria is mentioned in the entire book other than Annabelle's section.

          New Sheriff in Town: This is the silliest and funniest adventure in the game. Damien is annointed the New Sheriff in town and Balthazar tries to get the PCs to help him trash Damien's car (actually Kevin Jackson's). It's so petty it's awesome.

          Taming the Wolf of the Woods: The player characters are sent to Gary to kill a mole that's protected by Duncan MacTavish. If they kill the mole, they get Duncan reigning fire on them but if they turn him, they get rewarded. They can also be put onto a fake if they're not careful.

          One more Kiss, Dear: A former Blood Doll now in his 30s buys the Succubus Club and reopens it. I'm assuming he's a dot com millionaire and is hosting a Goth reunion of the old regulars. He's hoping to meet Sophia (the stripper Toreador) and reconnect. There's also a vampire hunter and possibly Helena planning to sacrifice everyone.

          Questions of Mercy: Angela was someone Sharon Payne wanted to Embrace but she died alongside Lodin during the events of the Lupine Invasion. Now she has cancer and wants to be immortal. She decides to blackmail the PCs into becoming a vampire. The PCs can kill her, Embrace her, or try to make sure someone else does it.

          Scotty Cartwright's Last Scoop: A muckracking journalist the PCs may have worked with literally decades ago to help save Prince Lodin (Ashes to Ashes) wants the PCs help for one last scoop on a Kindred serial killer.

          Should Old Acquaintances Be Forgot: Elena Mathers is a vampire who was Embraced last year and then by sheer coincidence runs into her five year old son. She's starting to consider Embracing him as the mob wants to use him as leverage on her deadbeat ex.

          The Wrath of Sullivan Dane: This is the only adventure hook I have serious issues with because it takes one of my all-time favorite characters and puts him on a suicide mission to kill the Kindred as an alternative to old age. I think Sullivan Dane deserves a full write-up and if they do a Kickstarter with "make an NPC" for Blood Cults, I 100% am going to request to do a write-up for him.

          He has some crazy stats, though. Melee 7?


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

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          • Adventure Hooks part 3

            Blood From a Stone: The PCs get into a fight with some militant Anarchs on their turf and end up returning to a safe place. They find their Touchstone there and must either suppress their Beast or feed on them, perhaps killing one of their links to humanity or even worse risking exposure of the Masquerade.

            Distracted Pursuit: The PCs are caught by someone watching them in the road on video. They attempt to give chase and he gets hit with a car. There's so much blood that they immediately must either feed (making the Masquerade problem worse) or figure some way of not eating him (unlikely) or say (I'm a doctor then eat him).

            One for the Road: The PCs are invited to see a violin perform and then the violinist makes a pass at the PCs. The PCs find themselves drinking a bit too much and can either stop, finish her off (making an enemy of Nero), or try to come up with a healthy story.

            Pick your Poison: The PCs are locked in a room with three mortals, a alcohol, a drug addict, and a LSD user to feed on. Raymond Falcon will not let them out until they have fed on one of them. It can potentially end HILARIOUSLY or horrifically.

            The Siege: A Ventrue and a Nosferatu are trapped together in a tight space and they can either feed on each other or they can feed on the animals around (requiring the Ventrue to overcome his feeding restriction). This is a very specific kind of scenario and I think could work out well with the proper bargaining.

            Goodbye Mr. Critias: A former (mortal) student of Critias has decided to investigate hid old mentor and figure out what is going on. The PCs can help Critias cover up his own mess for a potential boon or get roped into it because Critias blames them (which is what Elders can and often do).

            Horrors in Blue: There's a Tantric Sex Cult in the city that turns out to be using Kindred vitae to spread their religion. I actually like this one a great deal because it ticks all those boxes of something weird having something sinister underneath it.

            Patrol Duty: The player characters, perhaps to resolve a boon, are thrown into patrol duty in someone's territory to investigate some sort of mess. This quickly gets out of control and makes things much-much more dangerous.

            Within the Friendly Confines: The PCs are caught between Adze and Ballard warring over who gets to remake a Chicago baseball field. Ballard actually can't afford to do it (ouch) and there's also a vampire that potentially lives in the redevelopment project.

            WOW - we actually made it to THE SACRIFICE.

            Final stretch people.

            I'm debating doing a WIR of Beckett's Jyhad Diary or the Anarch and Camarilla guides next.

            Maybe just hold off until the Chicago Folio and Let the Streets Run Red.

            What do you guys think?
            Last edited by CTPhipps; 05-29-2019, 10:30 PM.


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

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            • Hell of a write up so far. As for the future bits, I'd like to see a BJD, Anarch and Cam write up. Your write up of Chicago By Night is pulling me in. Can't wait for the final book

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              • Here it is, the ending of an era. I've been doing this for about five, going on six months now and I've got to say that it was well worth the effort. It helped keep me from going insane in the long wait until August when the Chicago by Night 5th Edition volumes have meant to go out. If I'm being overly dramatic, note I was also a guy who donated my entire Con Fund to the Kickstarter because man did I want some extra art and NPCs (and it was well worth it!).

                It's been a real blast discussing the various characters, NPCs, setting details, and changes that we've all gone over. Overall, I've been impressed with nearly every creative decision done by the writers. I love the new, the old, and the updated.

                Kevin Jackson is an excellent choice for Prince and probably the best they could have used as he's both surprising as well as functional. Corrupting Damien into being the Sheriff is an unexpected twist on a well-beloved character but not character derailment. The Tremere have reacted realistically to the events in Vienna.

                I also feel like the Elders have mostly been updated well even if I miss the fact that the system no longer supports disciplines over 5. I think the conflict betwene the Anarchs and the Elders in the city is well-set up with the battle-lines drawn well but not having yet exploded into war. The Blood Disco is a concept that could be ridiculous but actually works well as Adze and Erzulie are great additions to the franchise.

                Plus, the Lasombra have been updated and that's great news.

                Do I have criticisms? Yes, a few but nothing that is exceptional. Maybe a few characters I would have liked to have seen that didn't show up, a few mortal write-ups (*cough* Sullivan Dane) and
                some different Loresheets but still awesome.

                NOW ONTO THE SACRIFICE! THE LAST ENTRY!
                Last edited by CTPhipps; 05-28-2019, 03:22 PM.


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

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Chris313AllNight View Post
                  Hell of a write up so far. As for the future bits, I'd like to see a BJD, Anarch and Cam write up. Your write up of Chicago By Night is pulling me in. Can't wait for the final book
                  Thanks!

                  Feel free to share any thoughts you have!


                  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'm debating doing a WIR of Beckett's Jyhad Diary or the Anarch and Camarilla guides next.
                    Please do a WIR of the guides next - not all of us have those books, and your insight into them should be interesting.

                    Comment


                    • The Sacrifice

                      The Sacrifice is a Chronicle that deals with the defection of the Lasombra from the Sabbat. Kevin Jackson has invited Sierra and a childe of Talley named Malenkov to serve as a delegation of the defecting Keepers to Chicago in order to negotiate terms. Kevin Jackson can't speak for the Camarilla himself but he can speak for his domain and as long as he's the FIRST guy to take the risk then he's likely to be only the first if it works (and the last guy if it fails). This is the kind of thing that makes sense as only a Ventrue as young as Kevin would take such a monumental risk with beings so much older than himself.

                      Damien recruits the player characters at an O'Tolley's restaraunt (PENTEX reference) and gives them the job to serve as bodyguards. The chronicle gives a justification that Kevin Jackson might recruit Anarchs to be his catspaws because they're expendable but I can't see that being anything but an excuse (or that Kevin Jackson fully believes this negotiation is a lost cause to begin with and has decided to simply use the PCs as Judas Goats until the inevitable Lasombra betrayal).

                      Originally posted by What did my players think?
                      In my game, the PCs were actually Anarchs and interested in making sure the Lasombra delegation successfully joined the Camarilla. It was kind of hilarious because while this supposedly would benefit the Camarilla, the players argued that the Sabbat were a bigger threat and destroying the sect would benefit the Anarchs in the long run by eliminating their biggest competition as enemies of the Camarilla. It would also result in the Ventrue having a new rival for power and increase infighting as they would never be as "docile" as the Tremere.

                      This is not logic most Anarchs would necessarily agree with but the "Fuck the Sabbat more than even the Camarilla" is not an argument without legs even with someone like Salvador or Jeremy MacNeil in my opinion. After all, the Lasombra deal to kill Elders to join the Camarilla will result in a lot of dead Elders and that's mathematics the smarter ones can get behind. I'm not sure about the less intelligent ones.
                      The player characters are asked to deal with a number of potential disruptions to the delegation like Flyboy, Gengis, and Crook. If they succeed, they get to meet Sierra and Malenkov. The pair are night and day with Sierra being ultra-polite and refined while Malenkov has barely disguised contempt. However, he's more loyal to his sire than the Sabbat and is trying to balance those two aspects of his personality while it becomes increasingly clear he's not here to be part of the negotiations but as a gift.

                      Much of the Chronicle is based around relatively innocuous but interesting details like trying to manuever around various obstacles thrown the PCs way. They have to get a haven for the pair of diplomats, they have to bribe or cajole people who intercept them, and then they have to bond with the Lasombra ambassadors or try to sabotage their efforts. Son has assembled a group of Anarchs from Gary (?!) to try to assassinate them to give the adventure a little action.

                      In the end, Malenkov decides to go on a three-night bender of killing and sexing up prostittutes (in no particular order). Malenkov is probably one of the Top 10# characters of Chicago by Night so I give the writer massive credit. He's the perfect encapsulation of a Sabbat Templar that exposes all the hypocrises of the organization. He's also a combination of likable and hateable that PCs could either way depending on how they feel about a guy who murders an entire strip club. If you're like some of the players I know, WE'RE MONSTERS means that they'll treat this with humor and if you're not then you'll react with horror as well as disgust.

                      The big "Moral Choice" of the Chronicle turns out to be two fold. The first is whether or not to turn Malenkov over to Prince Jackson and Sierra. Malenkov will go on the fire (or the fangs) as an offering to allow a single Lasombra to defect. The deal is remarkably one-sided but actually quite brilliant because Kevin Jackson makes an offer of "one [Sabbat] Elder for every Lasombra defectee."

                      The defecting Lasombra were always going to have to kill a lot of Sabbat in order to make sure they weren't targeted by the Black Hand. If you're going to burn bridges, it's a good idea to make sure the vampires who hate you are on the bridge when it burns. The only way to make sure they don't end up like the Lasombra Antitibu is they cripple the Sabbat Loyalists. So, striking first and hard with no mercy (COBRA KAI) means they can get however many Sabbat Elders they can to get 500 or however many Sabbat Lasombra to be accepted by the Camarilla. Enough to form a large enough core to BUILD their new place in the Camarilla.

                      Of course, the Lasombra being the Lasombra, this is going to blow up in their faces. It's hinted at in the rest of the book that when the Lasombra start their defection, plenty of OTHER Lasombra decide THEY will defect and other defectees (and old enemies) will serve as their payment in. So, we have moments like Talley (one of the chief architects of this whole shebang) getting targeted because he's a Sabbat Elder.

                      The next part of the story's moral choices is that by quirk of fate, the player characters end up as the people with the deciding vote in whether the Lasombra are accepted or not into the Camarilla. The fact that Kevin Jackson didn't secure the Primogen's support beforehand and there's actual DEMOCRACY at work doesn't bode well for the future of the Second City. It means that Jackson doesn't have any more control than Lodin did and worse seems to assume that this is a natural state (probably because he was born in America in the 20th century). If the Lasombra DON'T get accepted then there's probably still going to be a civil war but it'll be one-sided as the Sabbat massacre the Amis Noctis. Some will successfully defect to the Camarilla but it'll be an enormous clusterfuck and most of the "sane" Keepers will end up as chow for the Sabbat.

                      They've also made an enemy in Sierra who I have no doubt can weasal her way to KJ's side.

                      That's how I'd handle it at least.

                      Great chronicle and if this is how LET THE STREETS RUN RED will be written then it will be AWESOME.


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

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                      • And THE END!


                        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
                          Some new art samples that the website has shared for CHICAGO BY NIGHT 5E:


                          Not sure who the Middle guy is but this is all brilliant art and hope todays' Monday update gives us another piece of CBN art.

                          My guess would be Bret Stryker. Kind of fits the look, i think.
                          Last edited by Baaldam; 05-29-2019, 03:08 PM.

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                          • In my opinion Kevin Jackson just made his own bed and Chicago has been hand given to the LaSombra as without inganya , a sane Critias or khalid there is no one who can truly counter the enormous influence of Talley except Helena who doesnt feel in the mood and the plot device meth.

                            I would have prefered a situation with more balance of powers between different characters as that was what made Chicago by Night 1ED one of the best masquerade suplements becuase everyone could win or be detroned.
                            Last edited by Leandro16; 05-29-2019, 04:22 PM.


                            https://www.deviantart.com/cicerondixit/gallery

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                            • Originally posted by Baaldam View Post
                              My guess would be Bret Stryker. Kind of fits the look, i think.
                              I think Brett Stryker is a good guess but the fur and silk red shirt make him almost look like a Gangrel.

                              Originally posted by Leandro16 View Post
                              In my opinion Kevin Jackson just made his own bed and Chicago has been hand given to the LaSombra as without inganya , a sane Critias or khalid there is no one who can truly counter the enormous influence of Talley except Helena who doesnt feel in the mood and the plot device meth.
                              I think that Talley is probably not a problem because he's one of the least interested in power Elders you'll ever meet and is in a bit of a spot because he's being propped up a political figure by Marcus Vitel (who I suspect is the guy who arranged the Lasombra defection). Talley is kind of like Karsh in that he didn't become an Elder to be a subtle chessmaster. He became an Elder because he was better at busting heads than anyone else until at 800 years old he's almost impossible to kill.

                              I do think that Kevin Jackson is probably going to replace Alan Sovereign with Sierra as Seneschal, though.
                              Which will be bad business for everyone.

                              I would have prefered a situation with more balance of powers between different characters as that was what made Chicago by Night 1ED one of the best masquerade suplements becuase everyone could win or be detroned.
                              It is, IMHO, still the greatest supplement of all time. This is better than 2nd Edition CbN and close to the original, though. The big issue I have is that I think it could have used a bit more in the way of power players and rivalries.

                              There's a bit too many neonates that are just trying to get along: Sylvia Roanhorse, Mercy Valdez, and Celia Rivera all sort of fit into the same mold of "poor young women turned into vampires and trying to deal with the fallout." There's a bit too many other neonates too, IMHO. They're all original but I think we could have had a few more dangerous Elders and Sullivan Dane instead.

                              Note: As criticism, this is pretty mild and all characters in this volume are very well-developed.

                              Criticism wise, my biggest is they brought back Lodin but he's so changed that it'd be hard to justify a Jackson vs. Lodin battle for Princeship that I think would be an awesome conflict
                              Last edited by CTPhipps; 05-29-2019, 10:37 PM.


                              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 Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post

                                Please do a WIR of the guides next - not all of us have those books, and your insight into them should be interesting.
                                Thanks, though there's one small issue in the fact they're all fiction rather than setting material.


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

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