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[WIR] Chicago by Night 5th Edition

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  • #91
    Also,I think that with some heavy make up,Wolè Parks from The Vampire Diaries fame,could make a great Adze

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    • #92
      Rabbi Michalis Basaras

      Type: NPC

      Synopsis: Nihilistic Rabbi who preaches the doctrine of Oblivion.

      Review: I'm fond of Rabbi Michalis Basaras, who is a Rabbi by way of Spinoza if Spinoza worshiped Azathoth. Spinoza, for those unfamiliar with his works, was like Albert Einstein in that he speculated on God as a non-sentient series of laws and mathematical perfection to the universe. Which is one of those things that reminds us that you don't need the supernatural to have a religion but it does make it pretty damn confusing to both the religious as well as irreligious. In Rabbi Basaras' view, the universe is pain and it would be all better if we returned to the peace of oblivion.

      The writers were smart enough to not use the Holocaust as his origin but it it is questionable why it's not mentioned given the role which Cyrus played as a refuge for survivors of it (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Histor...Modern_history) . Instead, it just kind of skips past this unique point of history to go to Michalis heading to Israel, only to find it a lot more violent than he expected. From there, Michaelis returned to find his mother had committed suicide due to his absence alongside his father's serial adultery. His depressed existentialist crisis led him to being embraced by Giangalezzo of Milan. Which, for V:TM fans, is the Sabbat Archbishop who defected with his city to the Camarilla.

      Long story short, Michaelis was every bit as uncomfortable among the Sabbat as you'd might expect and approved of his sire's defection but was never taken into the man's confidence either so he was left an Antitribu by default. He moved to Chicago from that point and has been living there ever since (which means only about twenty years or so). Along the way he made contact with a being called "Shalim" who persuaded him the Lasombra antediluvian would eventually unite all the world in darkness.

      Weirdly, I'd like to say that if I ever use Rabbi Michaelis I would never actually use him for anything evil. Despite the fact he's a worshiper of an Antediluvian and wants to end the universe as well as everyone in it, I think he's a much more interesting character if Michalis never did anything immoral in the pursuit of this. No, he instead just goes around and persuades people to abandon their attachment to the mortal world and embrace nothingness. Like a really shitty understanding of Buddhism. I admit, I am weirdly fond of the rabbi because of NON-Vampire roleplaying games.

      Specifically, his particular Jewish heresy is actually fairly similar to the Dustmen from Planescape and the worship of Shar from Forgotten Realms--both of which I'm quite fond of. It's also not actually that divorced from some RL philosophies and interpretations of religion that because we cannot fathom any divine plan (and he believes in divine plans--he just doesn't believe its anything we could possibly comprehend or relate to), the best thing we can do is simply let go of our wants and desires. I'm inclined to think the Rabbi might be a decent sort of fellow for reviving the old Road of Night or on the verge of discovering the Path of Scorched Heart on his own.

      He's a good opportunity for a Road follower or a Path follower who isn't evil. A guy who demonstrates an alien(ish) morality that is far removed from normal humanity but not so much that it isn't bizarre or grotesque like the Sabbat. Also, something that people might conceivably want to follow in real life. Really, dude has a fairly coherent ethos. You can't be upset if you don't want or fear anything. It's not a happy religion but does it have to be? You could have a lot of fascinating conversations with this guy and he probably ranks in the top ten fictional people I'd like to get into a discussion with. Which is perfect for roleplaying gamers who like that.

      "Why fear Gehenna? All the Ancients can do is destroy you body and soul."

      *cue Blue Oyster Cult*

      Last edited by CTPhipps; 02-02-2019, 11:19 AM.


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

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      • #93
        Talley

        Type: NPC

        Synopsis: The most loyal of all Lasombra is now the Sabbat's greatest traitor..

        Review: Talley is a a bit like Johnny Cage, which is an odd comparison to make, but he's a character who was never intended to be more than a minor character in but developed a large devoted following. Now, with 5E Chicago by Night, he's finally gone from, "Guy who Theo Bell shoots up and chases our heroes like he's Team Rocket" to "guy who is instrumental in one of the largest changes in the setting."

        I always have liked Talley's background and personality, which is the fact that he's a character who doesn't sweat anything resembling ideology or personal loyalty. Talley has always been content to be a gun that you pointed at things. Whereas other Elders worked on schemes within schemes, Talley has just done exactly what he's told and pulled it off. He can't be completely 100% loyal because as Jaime Lannister points out, that's impossible. However, he's probably about as undeadly possible as such a thing can be--right up until when events make it so its utterly impossible to keep that reputation.

        "So many vows...they make you swear and swear. Defend the king. Obey the king. Keep his secrets. Do his bidding. Your life for his. But obey your father. Love your sister. Protect the innocent. Defend the weak. Respect the gods. Obey the laws. It's too much. No matter what you do, you're forsaking one vow or the other.” Random aside: Due to Talley's appearance, I don't actually think of him looking like Jaime's actor but a MUCH more buff Aiden Gillen (minus vampire thinness).





        It was a good choice choosing Talley to be the guy to negotiate the Camarilla defection because as the old Vulcan Proverb goes, "Only Nixon can go to China." The set up for this goes back to Beckett's Jyhad Diary where Talley is put under the command of Marcus Vitel. Marcus Vitel isn't Sabbat or Camarilla but, in the most nominal way possible, the leader of an Anarch Free State (an Emperor). That didn't matter to Talley because Talley serves the Lasombra and Marcus is older than all three sects combined (assuming you date the Anarchs to 1945).

        I find it's kind of sad that Talley's reputation as the perpetual loyalist is going to be screwed by this but that's just how these things go. He had a choice between Loyalty to the Sabbat and the Lasombra leadership, so he chose the Lasombra leadership. Those who love the Sabbat more will view him as a traitor but he probably just had the benefit of choosing the "correct" horse to back in the Sabbat Civil Wars prior to this moment (which the Lasombra all won previously). Unfortunately, now. he's got a Civil War to fight in which is much more dangerous.

        One of my all time favorite V:TM short stories is from the Clan Novel anthology and now is doubly ironic. The story, which I don't remember the name of, is that Talley and Theo Bell meet in a bar and discuss the Camarilla versus Sabbat. Theo Bell says that he genuinely really believes in the Camarilla while Talley tries to point out that the sects are complete bullshit and that it's really just the Elders playing games on both sides of things. I find that story becomes much much more entertaining in light of later events.

        In any case, Talley is an excellent character and one that I am glad to have stats for. There's some elements which do feel a bit "off" like the fact he's Humanity 4. Not that I think he's bad at it, but I wish they'd establish something like Loresheets for the Paths because I think he'd have a (Lorsheet: Path of Honorable Accord 1-5). Also, it says he has no Touchstones which makes sense as long as they're restricted to humans (and shows you don't need them) but I do think the Sabbat book will inevitably show vampires with Touchstones to one another.

        A part of me regrets that Talley wasn't the "sacrifice" Sierra made in THE SACRIFICE because it seems like a dramatically appropriate ending to his story. That Talley is unaware that the Amis Noctis have set him up to die because if you want to make sure the Camarilla knows YOU'RE REALLY SERIOUS about defecting then there's no way of doing it better than turning over your legendary killer of Camarilla Elders. However, that does feel like a waste of a fantastic character.

        Later in the book, it says that Talley may have killed Lucita, which seems like a fantastic waste of a character. Talley is, however, one of the few vampires I could believe capable of taking out the Queen of the Night, though. I just wonder if he's suicidal because that will probably result in him making a lot of enemies beyond even his normal ones.

        But the man hunts werewolves in his free time, so what's to say about that?

        Adventure Hook: Talley kidnaps Anita Wainwright, the PCs, and Rosa Hernandez for a "peace conference" between the Anarchs and the Camarilla. His idea for a conference? HUNT DOWN AND KILL A WEREWOLF OR THEIR PACK!

        Best part of write-up: Talley figured out Helena is in Chicago, who she is, and what she's up to. He just doesn't care. He could just casually tell the Second Edition to bomb her haven if he wanted or otherwise screw with her. Helena probably never imagined she'd be as exposed by him and it's kind of awesome.
        Last edited by CTPhipps; 02-03-2019, 01:34 PM.


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

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        • #94
          NEXT UP - THE BEST CLAN OF THEM ALL!


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

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          • #95
            Malkavians

            Malkavians are a group which has been written very poorly and have yet to have their "Assamite Revised" or "Ravnos Revised." Like the Gangrel, they're not SO BAD that you can replace the entire thing but they have the problem that what people like about them is very often what other people hate about them.

            I, however, love the Malkavians. I love them more than any other clan and I would have gotten a tattoo of them but my wife refused. As such, I did not but if they ever want someone to do a Malkavian pitch for the next Book of Clans, you have my e-mail The Gentleman Gamer. For the very SHORT-SHORT version of it, I have the following suggestions for anyone who want to incorporate the Malkavians in their game. Malks tend to come in the following vareties to a decent game.

            1. The Gadfly: You don't need to be a Fishmalk to be the prankster and source of black humor in V:TM. It also seriously sets people's teeth on edge if you joke around while they're angsting about killing their mother during their first frenzy. Instead, my argument for people who want to be the gadfly is to have a character who is bitingly sarcastic and eager to strike back in every corner of power.

            In general, all gadflies should be Anarchs by default. You don't like being told what to do and you are incapable of being controlled so you just have your own thing. The Malkavian derangements for this are a +2 to Social Difficulty except for one Skill you excell at (Persuasion, Intimidation, Seduction, Subterfuge, whatever).

            2. The Prophet: Generally, your character suffers from terrible hallucinations. These are possibly nonsense but also probably true to some extent. Your character should speak in metaphor, riddles, and often struggle to relate their observatins. A lot of these prophecies may simply be your observation of people and their place in the city. Your Storyteller should let you possibly know some secrets you can drop in-game.

            Another variation on this (2b) is the Mystic where the Malkavian is always TRYING to contact Caine, Lilith, Set, Lasombra, Saulot, or Malkav. God or Odin too. I find these are very easy players to justify as crazy religious people are an easy archetype to embrace without going out of genre.

            3. The Psychopath: This is a favorite of mine and simply put the easiest Malkavian to play dark. Your character has no sense of empathy and a really cold-blooded personality. You have a +2 difficulty to Insight and Humanity rolls. That doesn't mean you're pure evil but it doesn't come naturally to you and you will probably bottom out at Humanity 5 or 4. Oddly, I tend to rule Psychopath Malkavians dont tend to be lost to the Beast any more than most vampires because their cold-bloodedness means that they need to develop some kind of sickness that makes them go above and beyond drinking blood. I use Dexter as a good example of a "good" Malkavian psychopath as they kill and advocate ruthelss actions but make an effort to do positive actions like kill only monsters.

            4. The Dual Personalities: Oddly, I don't advocate playing more than one extra personality in these games but I do advocate that the Malkavian have very different personality types. Rather than necessarily Jeanette and Theresa, there's just the really dark and brooding Malk contrasted with the hyper gregarious Malkavian. How they switch is something that's dependent on the player and easy enough to remember. I've often played Malkavians who have inner monologue between their personalities and otherwise don't interact with the players but work very well for players.

            Generally, I also make it note that Malkavians aren't inherently funny but can be funny when they to be. They're aware they're mentally ill and hate it on some level, all of them. They can and do hold normal conversations and don't have to act their derangement all the time. It's just there, like the Beast, waiting.

            We've also had Dementation and Dominate combined again.

            Jason Newberry a.k.a "Son"

            Type: NPC

            Synopsis: The world's worst vampire

            Review: Son is an interesting character because he was created with the premise of, "What would the world's worst vampire be like?" He's a vampire serial killer, Humanity 0, and implied to be a rapist among his other horrifying hobbies. He killed a 7-year-old boy vampire named Neon with strong implications it was a long and drawn out process. He's an irredeemable monster and a character that has suffered somewhat for the transition between V:TM Editions.

            In 1st Edition, vampires were bad but not THAT bad. Everyone was presumed to be wanting to stick to Humanity to some extent. Lodin was evil but he was evil like a Mob Boss and believably so. So was Balthazar and even he had some humanizing qualities. Son's whole thing was, no, that he was just a monster. It was the same attitude with the Sabbat that, "What about vampires who just give up on being human at all and embrace the worst of our kind?" He was, between two editions, given Humanity 0.

            How bad was Son? When you met Son, you had to roll your humanity and the higher humanity you had, the more you disliked him. That was some pretty big awfulness.

            The thing is, Humanity 0 changed as a concept between 2nd and Revised with it being less, "You are an irredeemable piece of shit" and more, "You are a wild savage animal that sleeps in dumpsters and eats children when it wakes up." Thus, Ballard, Gordon Keaton (American Psycho ftw), and Son suffered a bit because they clearly now had SOME humanity as none of them were in a position to have learned a Path.

            2nd Edition CBN hinted that Son would be converted to the Sabbat by the Pack which introduced itself to them. Probably the Path of Evil Revelations. HOWEVER, the entirety of vampiredom got MORE EXTREME and more evil in Revised. Killing a human for no reason went from being a Humanity 1 sin to being a Humanity 4 sin as killing them because you were hungry wasn't a big deal. The Sabbat went from being honorable if brutal individuals to people who acted like Son as a daily recourse.

            So where does that leave Son?

            I'm not sure.

            Son is still an irredeemable piece of shit but he's now Humanity 2 (not even Humanity 1) with no sign he's adopted any sort of Path. In a way he feels quite a bit tamer despite being a serial diablerist and I honestly am surprised that there's not a section in his character sheet which talks about the possibility of him going into Wassail. You'd think that would be a real danger and he'd be a good character for demonstrating that was a danger for canon characters. The fact he has a Touchstone (albeit a sadistic nurse) surprises me as well.

            It helps, I think to note that Son's victim, in Ballard is someone that it's impossible to sympathize with. Even if you don't think he's a pedophile, he's still one of the worst vampires in Chicago. I would have given Son some more sympathetic victims (albeit not TOO sympathetic because--well, they're all vampires) like Annabelle or maybe Maldavis. Anita Wainwright is also a potential target for Son's wrath.

            Weirdly, Son goes by "Doctor Donald Loomis" as his Mortal Mein. I wonder if Son realizes how completely NOT obscure the Halloween franchise is and how this is going to get him fucked up by the PCs or Second Inquisition.

            "Hi, I'm Doctor Jason Voorhees."

            Do I think it was a good idea to make Son the Primogen of Chicago? Maybe, but only in the context it gives PCs a very good reason to try to remove him from power. The Prince is the archenemy of most PCs in my game so having an evil sadistic Humanity 1 serial killer as his biggest supporter is very good. It also can allow Anarchs to STRIKE AT THE SYSTEM by revealing one of the Elders has a "diablerie sex dungeon" full of Thin Bloods, Caitiff, and missing Anarchs.

            Exposing Son is a great way to dramatically weaken the Camarilla in, well, probably North America let alone the city of Chicago.

            Random Factoid: Maureen O'Leary's cow that started the Great Fire was named Son.
            Last edited by CTPhipps; 02-03-2019, 01:42 PM.


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

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            • #96
              Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
              Exposing Son is a great way to dramatically weaken the Camarilla in, well, probably North America let alone the city of Chicago..
              I think you over estimate the level of giving a damn involved. Camarilla leadership would have problems with the diablre, but nothing else. And most vampires would not ever care about that.

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              • #97
                Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post

                I think you over estimate the level of giving a damn involved. Camarilla leadership would have problems with the diablre, but nothing else. And most vampires would not ever care about that.
                I mostly go by the fact Hardestadt started doing the same thing in the Gehenna Books and that compelled a revolt by Theo Bell and other Archons.

                The Camarilla depends strongly on the appearance of civility.

                Especially now.


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

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                • #98
                  Can I make it to the end of February before starting to pester Matthew Dawkins about the progress of THE CHICAGO FOLIO and LET THE STREETS RUN RED?

                  Who knows!

                  But every Monday, I quickly check the status updates about those books and the editing of CHICAGO BY NIGHT.

                  It's the most excited I've been about a game supplement since, well, V20.


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

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                  • #99
                    Brownyn

                    Type: NPC

                    Preview:

                    Bronwyn

                    Synopsis: A mysterious beautiful Malkavian with lots of fingers in a lot of pies.

                    Review: The thing about Malkavians and I freely admit this despite the fact I am a huge fan of this, is that there's actually very few decent ones. They have a real problem with decent Signature characters and there's only a handful I would point to in order to say, "You know, this guy is a good guy to use as inspiration for a Malkavian." If I had to point to any Malkavians it would be Anatole, Jeanette, the Malkavian Player Character of Bloodlines (who would not be nearly so awesome if you weren't playing them), and Bronwyn. In fact, actually, Bryan and Corbin are also great Malkavians but neither of them is located in this book.

                    Bronwyn is basically an example of "less is more" with a Malkavian. You can have a derangement and it can be a major part of your personality but it doesn't have to be EVERYTHING about your character. In the case of Bronywn, her Derangement is....social anxiety. Yes, not homicidal serial killer urges or religious glossia. She just has severe issues with meeting with people.

                    It opened a lot of interesting doors for me and made me realize you could do Malkavians without their derangements being overt: Corbin was a narcissistic personality disorder (which means she could easily pass for a Toreador *rimshot*) and Bryan was a manic/depressive who mostly just acted like a Byronic hero. You could easily do a Malkavian Nicholas Knight suffering from THE ANGST and SORROW of his PAINFUL CRIMES.

                    The idea behind Browyn, Bryan, and Corbin was basically to tell a Gothic Victorian story. The evil Corbin seducing the love of Bronwyn's life only for the dark and tragic Bryan to embrace Bronwyn who then killed her lover then Embraced Corbin. It was one of the most interesting parts of Chicago by Night 2nd Edition if not THE most interesting part of it. It also was something that UTILITY MUFFIN LABS mentioned in the fact the story was a lot darker than a surface reading was. Basically, for all of Bronwyn being the more sympathetic of the two, she was actually guilty of worse crimes. Bryan also was implied to have just "taken" Bronwyn and forced her to fall in love with him (which this retelling rolls back on).

                    The opening of the Malkavian chapter indicates that Bronwyn captured Corbin and drained her dry for the Circulatory System that she turns out to have been one of the 5 founders for. Corbin's last words were the "You can't do this, you're my blood." It's possible Corbin is still locked away like Lily from Bloodlines with her blood being sold as a delicacy or perhaps treated somehow as to not form a blood bond. That is some sadistic stone cold revenge there, people, and highlights that Bronywn is not a good vampire. The chapter further states she helped Ballard destroy the American steel industry and she's working as a spy master for the Kindred.

                    All the while still managing a Jazz club.

                    There's no sign of what happened to Bryan and my inclinations are he simply wandered off after some point, to go brood on his angst and depression. Either that or Bronwyn killed her sire because, again, she's not a good person. Bronwyn is a bit like Annabelle in that she's an excellently drawn Elder and that means she could be an ally to the PCs but you should never forget that befriending her is like befriending a lion. Her Humanity of 5 means that Bronwyn is just slightly more cordial and pleasant than Lucita the Queen of the Night. Really, she should be Clan Head and Primogen of the Chicago Malkavians but--given how much power she wields already--why would she want to be?

                    She presently fears both Son as well as Corbin returning but it's questionable whether Corbin is even still alive. A very easy Malkavian-sort of plot would be to reveal Bronwyn's derangement has returned and she uses Obfuscate 3 to take on Corbin's visage before working against herself. That may be a bit TOO Theresa and Jeanete, though.


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

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                    • FYI - This is fairly close to how my WOD games go.



                      WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS SERIES!


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

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                      • I bet there are PCs in the game who do their dark bidding on the internet.

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                        • Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post
                          I bet there are PCs in the game who do their dark bidding on the internet.
                          "What are you bidding on?"

                          "A table."



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

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                          • Awesome thread. I loved your original RPGNet one.

                            Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                            The idea behind Browyn, Bryan, and Corbin was basically to tell a Gothic Victorian story. The evil Corbin seducing the love of Bronwyn's life only for the dark and tragic Bryan to embrace Bronwyn who then killed her lover then Embraced Corbin. It was one of the most interesting parts of Chicago by Night 2nd Edition if not THE most interesting part of it. It also was something that UTILITY MUFFIN LABS mentioned in the fact the story was a lot darker than a surface reading was. Basically, for all of Bronwyn being the more sympathetic of the two, she was actually guilty of worse crimes. Bryan also was implied to have just "taken" Bronwyn and forced her to fall in love with him (which this retelling rolls back on).
                            I agree with this take.

                            I'm not sure the original writers did. Corbin had a lower Humanity score and felt like she was set up to be a more overt bad guy.

                            One throw-away line in Chicago 2e that interested me was how Menele believed the trinity were pawns of whatever powers he suspected of manipulating himself and Helena. He was seriously freaked out by them and didn't have a plan for what he was going to do beyond "watch and learn."

                            The opening of the Malkavian chapter indicates that Bronwyn captured Corbin and drained her dry for the Circulatory System that she turns out to have been one of the 5 founders for. Corbin's last words were the "You can't do this, you're my blood." It's possible Corbin is still locked away like Lily from Bloodlines with her blood being sold as a delicacy or perhaps treated somehow as to not form a blood bond.
                            V5 changed vitae so that a blood bond only develops if it's ingested within several seconds of leaving the would-be regnant's veins. This makes a group like the Circulatory System potentially a LOT more popular. I remember reading in New York by Night how a cornerstone of the Camarilla's invasion strategy involved having Setites sell methuselah vitae laced with (I forget what, a mystical tracking compound?) to the Sabbat. That always seemed a little dubious. "You guys seriously aren't taking a Setite's word that this vitae is 'safe,' right?"

                            There's no sign of what happened to Bryan and my inclinations are he simply wandered off after some point, to go brood on his angst and depression.
                            He might also have been pulled away by the Beckoning. Or destroyed by the Second Inquisition.

                            Or all three.

                            Really, she should be Clan Head and Primogen of the Chicago Malkavians but--given how much power she wields already--why would she want to be?
                            I feel like this is indicative of the shift in how primogen were perceived between editions.

                            In Chicago 1e, the primogen were a secret group. Most vampires didn't know they existed. They weren't a club you were elected or appointed to, or could campaign to join. If you were powerful enough that Lodin would rather consult with you on major issues than risk pissing you off, that was the first step to being primogen. The second step was realizing, "Hey, he does this with the city's other elders too. It'd be a lot more efficient if we worked out these things among ourselves, maybe by majority vote, told Lodin how to run the city, and let him take the blame for anything that goes wrong." You didn't want to advertise you were one of the primogen, because, well, why would you? You already had the power. An elder like Bronwyn could only really refuse to join the primogen by refusing to attend meetings and telling a confused Lodin, "No, seriously, you really don't need to talk about this stuff with me." Chicago 2e, too, said she had her eyes on joining the group, which would have made her its first Malkavian member. 1e primogen weren't guaranteed to be from all seven clans, either, which was another nice touch. The Brujah had two members and the Malks and Ventrue had none. The only prerequisite to be on the primogen was power. Neonates need not apply.

                            In Beckett's Jyhad Diary and V5, the primogen are basically the city council. It's a formal and publicly known office that's vulnerable to (or benefits from) the shifting tides of public opinion. Every clan is presumed to have a representative, since the primogen's main purpose is to ensure all clans get a voice in the prince's decisions, or they're clearly getting dumped on. More reclusive elders like Bronwyn or 1e Khalid wouldn't want to be on a later-edition primogen council. They prefer getting things done behind the scenes or coyly saying "Who, me? No, I'm not interested in power" to the rubes. A political setup in BJD where the primogen openly rules over Chicago is anathema to what the 1e primogen were all about, as they already had the real power--publicly proclaiming "we're the ones in charge" just makes them targets for Anarchs to go after. Annabelle likewise wants to be prince in V5, which she wouldn't have wanted in 1e or 2e. Probably. She might think her existing relationship with the primogen will let her avoid being made into a stooge like Lodin--or even just figure, "Hey, being prince will make my parties even more popular than before."

                            I don't think either of these political setups is inherently better than the other. Later editions of the game emphasize how you can have princes who run the gamut from heavy-handed "the primogen are my bitches" tyrants like Vitel to "I'm the primogen's bitch" puppets like Lodin and middle-of-the-ground "we try and work with each other, so none of us are too happy" types like Calabris. So you can conceivably have primogen who are are public clan representatives in one city and primogen who are behind-the-scenes elder manipulators (usually in conjunction with a puppet prince) in another city.

                            I do think recent editions of the game could have benefited from emphasizing "Hey, either of these setups can exist in your game" over phasing out the first one, though.
                            Last edited by False Epiphany; 02-05-2019, 01:17 PM.


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

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                            • Originally posted by False Epiphany View Post
                              I do think recent editions of the game could have benefited from emphasizing "Hey, either of these setups can exist in your game" over phasing out the first one, though.
                              Awesome response.

                              It's doubly interesting how the Primogen has changed in-universe as Kevin Jackson is in a substantially different position than Lodin was during the event of Chicago by Night 1st Edition or even the city of Chicago in 2nd Edition. The Primogen was a power behind the throne as you say before but it was one that liked to use Lodin as their Judas Goat. The Anarchs like Modius and Maldavis (and Juggler to a lesser extent) focused all of their ire on Lodin while missing it was the much-much more powerful Elders (some outright Methuselahs as well) who made the city's gears grind.

                              However, my inclination is that BJD is that Critias as "first among equals" takes the Primogen public and administers the city directly for about ten to fifteen years. That's probably when the Primogen becomes well known among everyone else. It also probably is when the Anarchs are at their weakness because, bluntly, there's not much you can against a Primogen that includes Critias, Khalid, Nicolai, Inyanga, and Patricia who are all approaching 1000.

                              However, the Beckoning and Second Inquisition has taken away Menele, Patricia, Inyanga, Nicolai and Khalid. The Primogen has been gutted of his power and while Critias could still rule Chicago like Menele or Helena, he's not in the proper headspace. As such, Kevin Jackson is a far more powerful Prince than Lodin ever was. He also has far far less job security as while Lodin was a figurehead, he was THEIR figurehead.

                              Kevin Jackson is cracking down on the Anarchs and other threats hard but now its very possible for the Anarchs and Neonates to push back.
                              Last edited by CTPhipps; 02-05-2019, 02:10 PM.


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

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                              • Indeed. Kevin Jackson wields as much power as he does due to Inyanga, Tyler, Khalid, and Nicolai disappearing. Critias actually sides with the Prince and Annabelle has aspirations to be one, now the glamour of being Primogen is fading. I mean, look at the company she now keeps: Son, Rosa Hernandez, Marcel...


                                Matthew Dawkins
                                In-House Developer for Onyx Path Publishing


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