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[WIR] Chicago by Night 5th Edition

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  • Some parting thoughts on Chicago by Night 5E.

    1. This was a great homage to the original books while taking the characters into new and exciting directions. This is definitely the book that Matthew Dawkins, Klara Horskjær Herbøl, and the other authors should be proud of. Is it better than the original Chicago by Night? I dunno since that's got a lot of nostalgia value to it but it is an amazing work overall.


    2. Kevin Jackson was a great choice for the Prince of Chicago and probably the best one they could have made with characters like Al Capone, Ballard, and Maxwell being a bit too traditional for the matter. He's a character who can be either a patron or an enemy for the PCs and that's probably the way the Prince should always be run.

    3. Ballard is weirdly likable in this book as a victim of the 2008 financial crisis. That's probably a better place to take him as a character as he's not the avatar of capitalist evil before. On the other hand, I think there's always room for a vile businessman in vampire politics.

    4. Alan Sovereign is a character who works well as the Major Dormo and replacement for Edward Neally as a guy you probably are dealing with just so the Prince doesn't have to deal with you. I also like getting back Edward from the Sabbat since I never liked Blood Bond as a supplement.

    5. I think Nathaniel has lasted perhaps a bit longer than his character should have given that he's a vampire who wants to kill all other vampires. On the other hand, he's one of the most immediately useful vampires for Storytellers who need an easy villain.

    6. I really can't wait to find out what happened to Al Capone in the upcoming supplements. I've been waiting six months for the release of Chicago by Night and waiting a couple of more for the information in the side supplements is killing me.

    7. Annabelle and her twisted relationship with Helena works well for making a Toreador harpy into a sympathetic character. Also, she's really a walking Masquerade breach waiting to happen. I was never a big fan of Eletria so it'll be interesting to see how this progresses.

    8. I think Helena is one of my few complaints and it's a very mild one because it seems to imply she was one of Carthage's infernalists when she was one of the people who worked to bring the place down. I would have gone with a slightly more sympathetic take but rampaging diablerist Methuselah is a decent big bad I suppose.

    9. Critias having a mental breakdown to become the toady of a Prince 2000 years his junior is not a good fate for him but nicely displays that you can never really trust your own thoughts as a vampire. I think him killing his students opens a potential plot for blackmail or eliminating the ancient as does him being Beckoned.

    10. Making Damien Sheriff is a great idea. It's one I never would have thought of but works perfectly and eliminates one of the biggest "good guy allies" that Anarch PCs had.

    11. The book is weirdly sympathetic to Brett Stryker given he's Embracing men and women for Helena to devour and is thus a massive serial killer.

    12. The Primogen of Rose, Calhoun, and Marcel may not be as iconic as the originals but functions pretty well. No one is powerful enough to dominate Jackson but the player characters can theoretically stand against them as well. Adding Sierra and Khadij to replace Rose or simply dilute the power of the Primogen further is interesting. Frankly, Khadij can run circles around most of these people and her as Prince is a definite possibility.


    13. I think Anita has truly grown into a great character and is a wise choice to have as Anarch leader because she's someone 3-dimensional enough that if the player characters don't want to be the leader of the Anarchs, she's still worthwhile to follow. I also like Marc Levensque as her Sheriff as you know he'll be stupidly romantic to her and not respond well when rebuffed.

    14. Balthazar being an Anarch is hilarious and believable as a murderous redneck rebel is just him returning to form. Sweetie Pepper also is the kind of guy who can show the dark side of the Anarchs.

    15. Maldavis didn't do well in this book and is kind of unnecessary as a character now that Anita has stepped into her role. I think her becoming an acknowledged Tremere would have been better.

    16. I do think the Blood Disco should have been officially acknowledged as a third Anarch faction since they're so overtly helping Caitiff stand against the Camarilla's domination. They're a weird, fun, and eclectic bunch that also works as a family (with Bennet as the snake in their garden). Adze and Erzulie are also a couple I root for.

    17. Gengis rising to become the secretly wealthy political animal is something I'm not 100% behind because I always liked him as a poseur conformist Anarch. He exists to rebel because it's cool not because he has anything to say about society. However, I like that he WANTS the Camarilla to exist and Kevin Jackson's "list" because without it there's nothing to rebel against.


    18. Have a few mixed feelings about putting down the extensive Big Trouble in Little China rip-off...err homage. On the other hand, points for continuity as well as the fact that it really is something that is the height of WOD dorkage.

    19. Sun Che as a homicidal psychopath monster in a Wiccan hippie's shoes is an inherently cool concept.

    20. I kind of regret Dusable isn't going for Prince because this is probably his best hour. KJ really lucked out and I wonder if the reason he isn't trying is because of Helena's influence.

    21. Erichtho remains a great character and seems like a female V:TM player in terms of personality and attitude (which is a high compliment). She really tells it like it is. I am kind of sad she's not the local House Carnae rep, though.


    22. Flyboy really does show why Chicago (if not the world's) vampire population is completely fucked. One of the best characters here even if the people who wanted the SI to go away will go, "Nooo, that would never happen! WHYYYYY!"

    23. Lots of cool, minor NPCs spread through the book with plenty of them being Neonates trying to find their footing that the PCs can help or destroy. We have a Mexican media heiress, an Embraced Kinfolk, a tattoo Nosferatu dedicated to Burning Man, and a social worker who doesn't get why vampires have to be assholes.

    24. Sierra is a perfect Lasombra who would utterly fail to be in the Lasombra. I still wish Lucita had been in this book. Talley is a fan favorite and it's enjoyable to watch him become the greatest Judas the Sabbat would ever know since he's always been a guy with absolutely no ambitions or schemes of his own.

    25. Olaf isn't what I would have done with Lodin but they at least committed to an interesting idea with him.

    Next up - WIR the Anarch and Camarilla guides.

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


    • I've begun reviewing GARY and its various supplements.

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


      • WOOT!

        More art!

        No idea who the Anne Rice-looking woman is.

        Would love to know.

        Bronwyn maybe?

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