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[WIR] Beckett's Jyhad Diary - The Big book of Metaplot

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  • Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

    Sensible responses are not for people with goat horns who wish to bring about the end of the world.
    And wings! He has Visceratika enough to have fully functioning wings!
    But anyway, i somehow doubt he did not have more culpable & disposable minions to vent his rage...


    Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
    The US bombed Alamut at Marcus Vitel's behest!
    "The Ten Thousand Hells of the Wan Kuei are the dreams & nightmares of the Ravnos Antediluvian! The mortals who enter those places in death are his thousand generations removed descendants!"
    (That's pretty much the excuse to remake them as kindred - and bring back the Rift Discipline from a World of Darkness 1ed - in my games)

    "Caine helped Smiling Jack topple the prince of LA! Also the two rival princes of Berlin in the 90s! And he's the last Ravnos (or True Brujah) dominated by an evil artifact"
    (Yes, i connected Bloodlines with Berlin by Night, heresy!!!!)

    Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
    I feel like there's not a terrible idea there. "I found out that the Prince is actually a 2000 year old Sabbat. So I'm going to pretend to have gone mad and retreated into my own little world so he won't kill me."

    But yes, he's like the TH in that there's a good concept but one that needs to be played delicately.
    True, faking madness or slow-wittedness to sidestep a sword hanging over one's head is a classic misdirection tactic harkening back to the rise of the Roman Republic at least in literature or myth. That said, the way it's conceived that could have been much better, imho....

    Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
    They were vampires in both of them too!
    Well, i prefer to keep the two of them - and Qarakh - completely separate characters.
    Much like Alexei, the Tzimisce antagonist in the last two Giovanni Chronicles books - and original Clanbook: Tzimisce narrator to boot - is a character his own and not Vykos deciding to change identity (and sex - again) "for reasons/dull surprise".
    That said, Milov Petrenkov is also Viktor in one version of the Giovanni Chronicles i set up, so can't say i'm completely innocent of that.


    Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
    I actually think it's much more interesting if it was a Nicktuku to be honest.
    Bringing down some idols can really shake things up, no?
    Last edited by Baaldam; 10-09-2019, 01:53 AM.

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    • Now I understand why CTPhipps wants to directly connect BJD to V5. He LIKES V5, and so sees BJD's relationship to V5 exclusively through that lens. There's nothing wrong with wanting to fit things together so it all makes sense.

      Respectfully, I just don't think it CAN make sense, because BJD and V5 were not designed to exist in the same "timeline". Their mutually exclusive canons reflect this.
      It's always nice to be mentioned by name.

      I've been a bit overly enthusiastic in my defense of V5 as well as jumping back into V:TM fandom feet first. I'll be the first one to admit it and it's kind of embarrassing a few of the arguments I've gotten into when I should have taken a step back on subjects. I think I was channeling my 90s self to be honest and he was an irrepressible little Anarch who needed a few years in torpor to knock the sense out of him.

      However, I think you're a wrong (no surprise I'd say that) but I admit I'm coming to it from the perspective of a long-standing comic book fan. I've even wrote some comic book novels that make fun of the concept of retroactive continuity, sliding time-scales, and aborted plotlines that sometimes get ressurected years later. Mind you, this is just a thing that happens in fandom as I'm *ALSO* a Star Trek and Star Wars Expanded Universe fan who can tell you about how the conflict exists between Star Trek: Discovery, the Star Trek Novelverse, and the Star Trek Online games plus the reboot to the Sequel universe. So, I wouldn't MIND if someone said that V5 was a new continuity from the original World of Darkness and V20 but I don't think that's the case.

      Well, yes and no. The original World of Darkness was destroyed by Gehenna and ended like the way the original Warhammer Fantasy world has ended. It was resurrected by V20 saying the apocalypse didn't happen and "unbooted." I think V5 takes place in the same universe as BJD simply because the people writing V5 have included many nods to BJD since then.

      A lot of it was absent in the main book but with CBN5E and the Camarilla, Anarch guides, we're getting huge amounts of links between them now. You could say that's "cheating" but filling in the connections between the two is still continuity.

      But if you think they're irreconicable, I understand. I just think the Fall of London will probably contain references to this book because of the author. Call me a Malkavian.

      Originally posted by Bluecho View Post
      Something that's low-key bugged me throughout reading the thread, that I just haven't had the energy to bring up, is my disagreement about canon, vis a vis BJD to V5.

      I do not think they exist in the same continuity, and trying to read into one for the sake of the other is, at least for me, misguided.
      I think that's wrong, Bluecho, but I come from the view that there's a difference between different continuities and retcons. There's some areas which received different focuses and I'm fairly sure that V5 isn't the way that the V20 crew was going to do their version of V4 but I also think that they're not nearly as incompatible as some people maintain. I'll share my thoughts on the subject but a simple summary is, "V5 happened with enough time that they could insert allusions to it in BJD and a lot of the developers for V5 were also people who worked on BJD anyway."

      It's like a comic book with a new writer. Very often the previous plots will be wrapped up quickly but still "happened."

      The two works - BJD and V5 - were developed concurrently, the former overlapping the other. As such, while they share some common elements - like the Gehenna Crusade - they don't necessarily explore them in the same way. Moreover, they make vastly different assumptions about what events in older books "happened" and which didn't. BJD deviates from both Revised and the Clan Novels by having Clan Ravnos be largely intact, and the Week of Nightmares not happening. Whereas V5 seems to go along with the Revised era canon that says Clan Ravnos was absolutely decimated. This is just one example.
      I think the Week of Nightmares actually happens in BJD. Even if it didn't, it could have happened before the events of the book as a lot of the metaplot material in BJD is moved forward (or appears to have moved forward) so it wouldn't be present in the text because it's a past event.

      BJD also is the nexus for a multitude of possible "futures", that Storytellers can implement in their games. Including giving different explanations for why things happened (Did Carna really break her blood bond, or only think she did? Who really assassinated the Sabbat Regent and/or the Regent's imposter? Etc, etc.). Which means that no single "future fate" is more legitimate than another, as far as BJD is concerned. V5, meanwhile, chooses which ones it wants to be true, even if BJD didn't present it as an option (I don't remember "Jan Pieterzoon dies, his ambitions coming to nothing" as an option in the chapter talking about him). (And, of course, I and many others tend to dislike V5 because it seemed to choose all the least interesting options, but that's besides the point).
      This is an area which is notable as V20 started as essentially metaplot agnostic like Exalted. One of the elements of the Realm that I believe is still canon (correct me if I'm wrong because I don't know what OPP has done with it) is that the setting never actually moves forward in its timeline.

      In the Realm, the Exalted are SO powerful that they can change the course of the setting completely. Your Solars can take over the Realm, wipe out the Dragonborn, build a flying city powered by the souls of your worshipers, or become the Unconquered Son's replacement. Therefore, it's pointless writing a metaplot because the player characters are uniquely capable of flipping the table.

      So V20 was originally designed as a "Greatest Hits of Queen" CD so you can play whatever you want whenever you want without judgement. It's only until BJD that all the metaplot is assembled into one place and you can carry it out as you see fit.

      The thing is a lot of BJD also was carrying on plots from Revised and smoothing out a lot of details. Things that V5 put their own spin on. There's a lot more connective tissue between BJD and V5 than, say, Revised and 2nd Edition IMHO.

      Things like:

      * Banu Haqim join the Camarilla
      * The Drowned Legacies
      * The set-up for Los Angeles in BJD is being used by Jason Carl (minus the Wan Kuei)

      Yes, there's new plot elements:

      * The Beckoning
      * The Second Inquisition
      * The Anarchs going from Zero to Hero



      But that's in ADDITION rather than absent. Really, the biggest change is the fact KOTE is non-canon from all apperances and that goes back to Bloodlines.

      (If I may illustrate using a different piece of media, I liken it to the Highlander franchise. No matter how many times individual installments of films, TV, animation, etc. want to SAY they are sequels and part of the larger canon, the devil is in the details. Each installment makes wildly different assumptions about how immortals work, what their purpose is, and various thematic differences. That Highlander II made them all aliens from the planet Zeist is just the most dramatic example of how installments ignore or change aspects of Highlander lore to suit whatever they want to do at the time. Just look at Highlander: The Source for the number of retcons it has. It's basically impossible to see that franchise as a cohesive continuity, and one must instead see it as a series of parallel universes.
      I admit, being a fan of Highlander: The Series starring Adrian Paul and having it be the big influence on V:TM that it was (it was the reason why so many vampires had katanas) I don't think it's necessarily bad to show it as a way continuities can work. The Highlander the series continuity had the original movie and third movie as canon, it just had its own thing and adjusted some details (like the fact Connor Macleod didn't win the prize).

      This is how I feel about BJD and V5. They aren't part of the same timeline, and the one doesn't really "prove" the other.)
      My view is V5 definitely has BJD as part of its timeline because it's adding a lot of details from it to its canon.

      You could argue that this is "softpedaling" and that CBN5E's of V5's canon is a somewhat less brutal version of the world presented in V5's mainbook. The Sabbat still exists, the Elders are not all in the Middle East, and the Second Inquisition is taking its time but that's not reversing or ignoring it either.

      You could also argue it's just clarifying rather than changing details.
      Last edited by CTPhipps; 07-21-2019, 07:12 PM.


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

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      • In CHAPTER TEN: MONTREAL we have Beckett talking to Ezekiel and they mention the Week of Nightmares has passed.

        Ezekiel: Strange events visited Montreal recently: celestial bodies, dark visions, blood curses.

        Beckett: Ah yes. It was a global thing, one might say.

        Ezekiel: Does a man of your renown know what caused it?

        Beckett: Nothing I can speak of with certainty.

        Ezekiel: And without certainty?

        Beckett: An end time, of sorts, though averted or delayed. Or an end that has just begun.

        Ezekiel: The effects passed everywhere?

        Beckett: As far as anyone can tell, yes. Why?

        Ezekiel: Curiosity is all.

        Beckett: Curiosity.

        Ezekiel: Yes. Let us not speak of it again.
        Last edited by CTPhipps; 07-21-2019, 11:49 PM.


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

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        • I feel everyone involved in writing BJD is doing their best to present interesting material, to be thorough, and at the same time present a tool-box approach. That is to say, you can take whatever elements you want from the book and ignore the rest. If you want to run a game about violent Sabbat intrigues, you can, and not worry about Samedi in Haiti or dueling elders in Chicago and so forth.

          Further, it is probably impossible to make all the details work smoothly. There are too many bits of business going on in the metaplot, and too many of them contradict other bits of business. Rasputin is one such case, even if the book does a pretty good job with the character.

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          • Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post
            The reference to the Book of Ruth is a reference to Elimelech, a tragic and mysterious Sabbat character. If Elimelech did will the real regent, then the question is what did he do for almost 20 years as Sikorsky ran around pretending to be the regent?

            Given Elimelechs long standing association with the TBH, and based on their actions in later chapters I'd hazard a guess they finally figured the time was right for more 'direct' action.

            I'd really like to know what Izim Ur'Baal is doing during all this, provided he hasn't bolted back to Alamut upon the upcoming return of Ur' Shugli.

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            • Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post
              I feel everyone involved in writing BJD is doing their best to present interesting material, to be thorough, and at the same time present a tool-box approach. That is to say, you can take whatever elements you want from the book and ignore the rest. If you want to run a game about violent Sabbat intrigues, you can, and not worry about Samedi in Haiti or dueling elders in Chicago and so forth.

              Further, it is probably impossible to make all the details work smoothly. There are too many bits of business going on in the metaplot, and too many of them contradict other bits of business. Rasputin is one such case, even if the book does a pretty good job with the character.
              One of the things I like about this book is that it makes it so there's a collection of a dozen guns being aimed at the world simultaneously. However, it is something that makes it so that they're not being fired yet. One of the reasons I never much cared for Ur-Shulgi is the fact that he's a monster who warps the entirety of the campaign unless your characters are actively saying it's someone else's problem.

              Here, he COULD awaken at any time.

              But he doesn't have to.

              The only thing that has to happen during all of this is the Sabbat Civil War and that's only slightly worse than Tuesday for the Black Hand.


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              • Chapter Ten: Hands of Darkness

                I admit, I'm not going to be much use on this chapter because Montreal by Night is one of the few supplements I've never read of Classic Vampire: The Masquerade. It's a bit of a shame because I've always liked the intellectual and spiritual side of the Sabbat over the bloody murderous mayhem one. I just never got around to reading it and I've yet to acquire a copy (albeit it's much easier to get them via POD nowadays). So much of my discussion will be using the White Wolf Wikipedia for this.



                Beckett and Lucita head up to Montreal to do some glad-handing for her campaign to be Regent. There's another fine bit of comedy where Lucita receives a bone-handled pistol that she squees (as much as Lucita can squee over anything) and Beckett a translation of a book he's been wanting. Lucita gives one of Beckett's treasures from his safe (without him knowing).

                Beckett meets Benezri who is a member of the Panders clan. Benezri says that they have magically cut their ties with their founders. Beckett is confused by this but Benezri doesn't go into detail. I've always liked the Panders but felt they were a tad underdeveloped.




                Beckett also meets with a Inquisitor named Mercy who tells her that she's lost all faith in Benezri despite their previously close relationship. She is a full supporter of the Gehenna Crusade and a reminder that just because you're against the Antediluvians, that doesn't mean you're not a psychotic evil shitbag (her wiki paints her as bad as the Sabbat gets). Which I suppose the entire Sabbat is a lesson in but her in particular.

                Beckett proceeds to engage in a theological debate (a rare thing for him) about the afterlife. His partner in this is Frere Marc who chides Beckett for using the word Kindred rather than Cainite. There's another bit of humor where Frere leads Beckett down to an abandoned subway station boiler room as his haven for the evening. Beckett objects but gets voted down. The funny thing is Beckett thinks this is a insult but I think the Sabbat are actually providing him what they consider fine accommodations. After all, what true Gangrel would want to live like a Ventrue?

                We then get into another plotline that is quite fascinating when Beckett and Lucita are asked to investigate an attack on many local Kindred with the name Dastur coming up. This is a character from Children of the Revolution who is every bit as important as Jalan Aajav in terms of the history of the sect. He's also someone that is a dire end of the True Hand--again, a lot of what I felt people disliked about the True Hand vanishes if you have them against a formidable enough enemy.

                The short version of this part of the book is that the True Hand is being targeted by Dastur as part of his purge (along with Jalan Aajav) of the True Hand from the Black Hand (or "False Hand" because fuck the Sword of Caine). It's revealed to be an interesting case of two ancient-worshiping Gehenna Cults BOTH at each other's throats. One worshiping Zillah the 2nd Generation vampire and the other worshiping the Antediluvians. It's kind of ridiculous and yet makes perfect sense because of course the Black Hand would attract a bunch of Gehenna cultists and OF COURSE they would hate each other.

                Beckett attends another Sabbat ritae that I remember from the Utility Muffin Labs review of Montreal by Night where they skin the backs of Neonates so they can immortalize the names of heroes of the Sabbat. Because, you know, Sabbat gonna do what Sabbat gonna do. Beckett also meets with a Elder called The Rose who explains the differences between Dastur's Lost Tribe and the True Hand.



                Lucita has a very good letter describing her exaltation for combat and love of war. It's one of the best insights into her character and fits well with her other stories. She also reveals she longs for the camraderie and love of friends--which she hopes to find in the Sabbat (good luck with that). There's also a sense of disappointment in her friend, Beckett, for not being able to provide it. The conversation between Wolf Man and Slay Queen after is quite fascinating.

                There's a picture of a woman who I think is supposed to be Lucita but doesn't look anything like her on page 176 with two pistols firing away. We also have a hilarious "Secret Montreal" skit which talks about Lucita fighting against a bunch of other attackers and the camera lingering on her derier. Whatever the case, it wins Lucita the respect of the Montreal Kindred and they're going to support her claim for Regent.

                Adventures

                Montreal is a city with a lot of fascinating dark secrets and a focus on the educated occult part of the Sabbat. In simple terms, the majority of the Sabbat is all about being wild soccer hooligan Orks while this is the part of the Sabbat that are the leaders of the Cthulhu cults.

                It continues the Civil War between the Black Hand and the True Hand with the addition of the cult of Zillah making the "False Hand" every bit as old and antique as the True Hand. It's kind of a fascinating twist there as we have the Sabbat worshiping Caine, the Lost Tribe worshiping Zillah, and the True Hand worshiping the Antediluvians. The irony being the True Hand are worshiping the youngest of the ancients in this situation.

                One of the non-sucky elements of the True Hand's original book is that it hinted their four Aralu could just be the tombs of the Baali founders as well. They might not even be in their coffins but the True Hand is either obeying their will or just worshiping empty air.
                I am totally on the True Hand's side here again and hope Dastur loses, though I'm less interested in his death than Jalan Aajav's because, well, I think Dastur is a much more interesting character.

                Amazing how this isn't even getting into the fact that Montreal has an enormous demon living under it. Metathiax being sort of a miniature Kupala.

                Thoughts

                Really well done chapter and I've always found it somewhat amusing one of the greatest changes to history and the World of Darkness is the fact that Montreal is more dangerous than Rio de Janeiro.

                I think the use of the Black Hand, True Hand, and Sabbat mythology was extremely well done here and gives a sort of setting for die-hard Noddists to go to. Metathiax is almost inconsequential to this chapter and yet the book doesn't suffer for it. There's also some intrigue about what's going to happen with the Camarilla closing in but that's nearly inconsequential given the larger issues at stake. Hehe, I said stake.

                The handling of Lucita here is something that I really liked as it does explain, however controversial I may find the choice, why she joined the Sabbat. It also makes it clear her old friends are disgusted by her choice but keeping it to themselves. Lucita also knows this and it's actually an interesting character dynamic you don't normally see in V:TM. As bad as Beckett and Anatole may be in their own way, they loathe the Sabbat on moral grounds. They also love Lucita.
                Last edited by CTPhipps; 07-23-2019, 04:37 PM.


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                • Personally, my opinion is that Dastur Anosh has been hiding in Staten Island this entire time.






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

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                  • Chapter Ten: Hands of Darkness notes

                    1. One thing I did like about the Panders was the fact that they were generally the opposite of the Lasombra and Tzimisce. While both of those clans wanted the Sabbat to be Camarilla 2.0 w/ DARK THEOCRACY, the Panders were the heart of the Loyalist movement. Which is to say they didn't give two shits about tradition, ritual, or even obedience--and were tough enough to get away with it.

                    2. There's a couple of Lucita bits that are very well done. First, sadly, she's confirmed as a member of the Sabbat which means that the Lasombra Trilogy is probably canon (murdering orphans! So you know she's evil!). However, it has Beckett told to not participate in any of the ritae. Beckett is confused by this but Anatole says it's a sign she might still come back to them. I find this interesting because it implies that in this universe, she didn't join because of Anatole's death (obviously), but her joining the Sabbat has severely impacted her relationship with the Prophet of Gehenna.

                    3. Dastur Anosh being the Father of the Path of Caine and a Vizier confuses me as I'm not sure if that means the Path of Caine is a sincere road revering the Dark Father of the Cainite race or whether or not Dastur just invented it as a knock-off of the Path of Blood for Sabbat to follow when he couldn't let them on the "real" Assamite way. But here's the thing: Dastur's sincerity in following the Path of Caine versus the Path of Blood isn't just me whistling War Across Dixie (*rimshot*), it was very important because he's the founder of the Assamite Antitribu effectively.

                    Will he meet the call of Ur-Shulgi? He wouldn't if he followed the Web of Knives Path of Blood because that makes Caine an enemy of Haqim. Zillah too. But if he returns to Ur-Shulgi and joins with the rest of the Assamite Antitribu then he's betraying both. Interesting questions. It also affects the True Hand because Ur-Shulgi is the supposed voice of Haqim but hates all other Clans and lineages. Plus, there's the theory he's one of the Baali.

                    4. I think I'd probably like Montreal by Night because it treats the Sabbat a lot more like I always wanted it to be rather than the Clan Novels presented it as. Basically, yes, they're a bunch of evil monsters that should be destroyed but there's a LOGIC to their sadism and cruelty. It's a bit like the Sith in most of the standard STAR WARS EXPANDED UNIVERSE vs. the Sith in the OLD REPUBLIC and KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC.

                    The Sith in the latter have a philosophy that is cruel, brutal, and unforgiving but has a sense to it beyond bullying Kine. You get the impression the Kindred of Montreal are the guys who understand Nieztsche and the rest of the Sabbat are the guys who don't. Or, more precisely, are Kevin Kline's character in A FISH CALLED WANDA.



                    5. Random Factoid: Carolina Valez, not mentioned in this chapter but in Montreal by Night, is indicated to die at the hands of defecting Lasombra in Chicago by Night 5E.
                    Last edited by CTPhipps; 07-23-2019, 04:37 PM.


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                    • Enjoyed getting some hints about the fate of Sangris the Serpent, if not the whole story. Something major obviously went down if it cost Valdez leadership.

                      With regards to Dastur and the True/False Hand fight, really wish Izim Ur' Baal had shown up though reading between the lines I get the impression that "something" has happended to him by this point.

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                      • Originally posted by Zorin001 View Post
                        Enjoyed getting some hints about the fate of Sangris the Serpent, if not the whole story. Something major obviously went down if it cost Valdez leadership.

                        With regards to Dastur and the True/False Hand fight, really wish Izim Ur' Baal had shown up though reading between the lines I get the impression that "something" has happended to him by this point.
                        I think the Del'Roh is actually a title rather than a name so he's technically the new one of the Black Hand. While the destruction of Enoch was optional in V20, I think it's probably something that actually happened in V5. The thing is, in this version of vampire history, it wasn't something that erased the True Hand from existence but cut away a lot of the fat. The Harbingers of Skulls went on to enjoy the hospitality of the Sabbat (eventually conquering the Giovanni w/ the aid of the Samedi) but all of the active agents of the Hand were still around in the Servitors of Irad, the False Hand, and other powerful positions.

                        Yes, they don't have their magical city of the dead location anymore but that just means they have to be more active and involved--which Izim Ur'Baal is the perfect military commander for. This may explain why the Black Hand has gone from being a bunch of behind-the-scenes puppetmasters to being actively fighting people in the streets like those guys in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. A lot more overt but now a lot more useful for campaigns as the way they were previously set up, unless you were a member, you'd probably never know if the True Hand was actually involved in a plotline.

                        They're also probably on a heavy recruiting binge with the Gehenna War going on. Plenty of Camarilla Elders Beckoned to the middle East would probably find the Blakc Hand a good group to make sense of it--as they're here to do their master's bidding even if they don't want to.

                        The question is whether they'll be recruiting the "New" Sabbat Ancients, recruited by the New Sabbat Ancients, or just food for the New Sabbat Agents.

                        Mind you, recruiting the Molochian Baali was just stupid.
                        Last edited by CTPhipps; 07-23-2019, 08:24 PM.


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                        • Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                          Beckett and Lucita head up to Montreal to do some glad-handing for her campaign to be Regent. There's another fine bit of comedy where Lucita receives a bone-handled pistol that she squees (as much as Lucita can squee over anything) and Beckett a translation of a book he's been wanting. Lucita gives one of Beckett's treasures from his safe (without him knowing).
                          I like this, “gladhanding,” description of events. It had not occurred to me to put it like that, but it is a fine way to describe the events. And as for the bone handles, I kept wondering if the bones came from anyone Beckett or Lucita knew.

                          The bit where Beckett’s get the book is a relatively subtle call-back to something that happened in the previous chapter. Vasantasena told Beckett to refer to the Book of Ruth, and in the Bible Beckett receives is apparently a different version of the Book of Ruth. BJD does not tell us what the differences are, but they presumably relate to Elimelech.

                          Some of the terminology is tangled and confusing. But that issues started in the original Sabbat books. The “Loyalists” are not loyal to any particular clan or induvial, but to the nominal ideology of freedom. They would only participate in a horrific slaughter if they felt like it, so don’t pressure them.

                          The bit where Beckett is provided with a temporary haven is funny, but it made me wonder what kind of accommodations Lucita received.

                          The skinning functions as a kind of hazing ritual. People who endure a hazing ritual, particular a severe hazing ritual, tend to be more committed to a cause that people who do not endure a hazing. The book made from the skins of new recruits would also serve as a powerful icon for those who endured the hazing. However, while it is never discussed in any book, saved flesh and blood can serve to tools for magic. Whomever possesses the book would also possess magical leverage over the people skinned to make the book.

                          And of course the Sabbat is eating itself in terms of the Hand feud. The entire thing feels a bit like the Judean People’s Front versus the People’s Front of Judea. Even so I have often wondered what kind of relationship exists between the Lasombra and Tzimisce Founders. They control the Sect, and oddly always seem to get along. Or at least any conflict between the two is not evident. In any case, Dastur is fighting in an atypically subtle, but effective, way for a member of the Sabbat.

                          Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                          Lucita has a very good letter describing her exaltation for combat and love of war. It's one of the best insights into her character and fits well with her other stories. She also reveals she longs for the camraderie and love of friends--which she hopes to find in the Sabbat (good luck with that). There's also a sense of disappointment in her friend, Beckett, for not being able to provide it…
                          Lucita’s letter to Beckett about is insightful to her, and the way she perceives Beckett. This is a bit I will return to in a moment. The short version is that while Lucita by have violent psychopathic tendencies, Beckett is a creature of Noddist curiosity but depraved indifference to real bloodshed and suffering.

                          I do not think the picture on page 176 in supposed to be Lucita, but it depicts one of the other participants in that fight. And it looks like an over-the-top bit of action from the Underworld movies. The entire sequence does point to how impossible it should be for these Sabbat battles to go down without a lot of people seeing it, recording it, and posting it. They Sabbat may have killed the recording human, but by that point the damage had been done. This overall strategic attitude and indifference would eventually lead the SI right to them.

                          The status of the 2nd Generation is interesting. They are supposedly dead, unless they were inexplicably turned into rocks that weep blood. The disease demon under Montréal always fell flat for me – it just never felt very compelling for some reason. And yes, the Sabbat rabble are just World of Darkness orcs, and the elites are loonies involved in Cthulhu Wars.

                          Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                          Really well done chapter and I've always found it somewhat amusing one of the greatest changes to history and the World of Darkness is the fact that Montreal is more dangerous than Rio de Janeiro.
                          Lastly, there is something darkly comedic about Canadian cities being dark, deadly dystopian places because of the Sabbat.

                          Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                          Will he meet the call of Ur-Shulgi…
                          That is a very solid insight about Dastur, and nothing like it occurred to me – congratulations.

                          Edit: Yes, most of the Sabbat rabble could probably be out-smarted by an unlocked doorknob.

                          Lucita: In his discussion of the first chapter @CTPhillips mentions a humours bit where Lucita steals borrows Beckett’s jet. They have a funny back and forth about who owes who a favour and for what.

                          But it is important to remember that everyone is this book is a vampire, is a monster, and is evil. All of them. Even the Salubri.

                          Lucita didn’t want Beckett participating in the Sabbat rites because she didn’t want him hanging with the cool kids. She sees him as a useful tool but one unworthy of participating in the rites. She sees no one as a friend. It is just as well that his supposed attraction to her never appears in BJD. Anatole is insane in his naivety if he think she would ever come back to them. She had never been in their “friend” in the first place, so there was nothing for her to return to – and being Regent of the monstrous Sabbat is not something from which anyone morally returns.

                          With respect, I think you, @CTPhillips, are reading too much into the supposed disgust of her friends. That disgust is at best hypocritical and at worst delusional.

                          They are vampires – none of them are capable of proving the kind of emotional support and validation Lucita is apparently seeking. They do not love. They cannot love. They are the hungry dead caught in the tangle of lies they tell themselves. They are vampires.
                          Last edited by Grumpy RPG Reviews; 07-23-2019, 08:38 PM. Reason: Ur-shulgi made me do it.

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                          • Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post
                            I like this, “gladhanding,” description of events. It had not occurred to me to put it like that, but it is a fine way to describe the events. And as for the bone handles, I kept wondering if the bones came from anyone Beckett or Lucita knew.
                            I'm sure that would only increase their value to her. However, I admit as much as I love Lucita, I also see her as a character who has Embraced the kind of trenchcoat and katana playstyle which a lot of people think is the "wrong" way to play vampire but is immensely popular. She really is the equivalent of Selene in the setting and that exortation of violence and thrills is what keeps her going from night to night--even though a more personal game would follow the trail of bodies she leaves behind and know they had names.

                            Lucita risks her unlife nightly to capture that sense of danger and thrill because it makes her feel alive as only risking her immortality can.

                            The bit where Beckett’s get the book is a relatively subtle call-back to something that happened in the previous chapter. Vasantasena told Beckett to refer to the Book of Ruth, and in the Bible Beckett receives is apparently a different version of the Book of Ruth. BJD does not tell us what the differences are, but they presumably relate to Elimelech.
                            Ah, thanks for catching that. I did not.

                            Some of the terminology is tangled and confusing. But that issues started in the original Sabbat books. The “Loyalists” are not loyal to any particular clan or induvial, but to the nominal ideology of freedom. They would only participate in a horrific slaughter if they felt like it, so don’t pressure them.
                            I've always liked the Loyalists because if you look at each of the Civil Wars, the Lasombra and Tzimisce have given a lot of ground to recognize the Antitribu as closer to equal. Ditto the Panders. This despite the fact it's clear both clans very much consider them to be nothing more than cannon fodder. The thing is that their "freedom above all" credo is also completely useless for a army and fundamentally contradictory to their Crusade.

                            Something eventually has to give and I think V5 indicates that it was the Loyalists swelling the ranks of the Anarchs and making them darker, meaner, and more vicious.

                            The bit where Beckett is provided with a temporary haven is funny, but it made me wonder what Lucita's accomodations were like.
                            Ha. Good one. I actually have always felt that Sabbat cities have Grimadli-owned hotels like the ones in True Blood where vampire residences are actually built in with "no windows" actually viewed as a feature not a bug.

                            And of course the Sabbat is eating itself in terms of the Hand feud. The entire thing feels a bit like the Judean People’s Front versus the People’s Front of Judea. Even so I have often wondered what kind of relationship exists between the Lasombra and Tzimisce Founders. They control the Sect, and oddly always seem to get along. Or at least any conflict between the two is not evident. In any case, Dastur is fighting in an atypically subtle, but effective, way for a member of the Sabbat.
                            It goes even further than the True Hand vs. Lost Tribe being the Sabbat eating themselves. Not only is their desire to serve the Ancients directly contradictory to the Sabbat's aims (though it might be POSSIBLE to serve Zillah and Caine, the Antediluvians and Caine is completely the opposite of how Noddism generally portrays their relationship). It's three very similar Gehenna Cults that are irreconcilable by fairly minor doctrinal differences.

                            Toast buttered upside down versus buttered right side up.

                            And you know what? Every one of their Dark Gods probably can't give two shits about them and would probably eat them. It's the feud between Hastur, Cthulhu, and Nyarlathotep cultists.

                            "Who?"
                            -All three Elder Gods about their cults

                            Lucita’s letter to Beckett about is insightful to her, and the way she perceives Beckett. This is a bit I will return to in a moment. The short version is that while Lucita by have violent psychopathic tendencies, Beckett is a creature of Noddist curiosity but depraved indifference to real bloodshed and suffering.
                            I do like how Lucita wanted to spare Beckett just watching mortals hurled to their deaths. It was a rare moment of Humanity (more on that later).

                            I do not think the picture on page 176 in supposed to be Lucita, but it depicts one of the other participants in that fight. And it looks like an over-the-top bit of action from the Underworld movies. The entire sequence does point to how impossible it should be for these Sabbat battles to go down without a lot of people seeing it, recording it, and posting it. They Sabbat may have killed the recording human, but by that point the damage had been done. This overall strategic attitude and indifference would eventually lead the SI right to them.
                            I think I said it earlier in this thread that the Clan Novels invasion of Washington D.C. with its vozhd and mass murder meant the Sabbat was overtly stupid. Equal and only exceeded by the Camarilla then trying to use the United States security apparatus against the Sabbat.

                            Anarchs: Am I the only one who thinks mortals may be stupid but they're not complete fools?

                            The status of the 2nd Generation is interesting. They are supposedly dead, unless they were inexplicably turned into rocks that weep blood. The disease demon under Montréal always fell flat for me – it just never felt very compelling for some reason. And yes, the Sabbat rabble are just World of Darkness orcs, and the elites are loonies involved in Cthulhu Wars.
                            1. I like the fact we have no idea how many Antediluvians, 2nd Generation, or if theres even a 1st generation in current writing. The Drowned being of other new Clans opens up a lot of new opportunities.

                            2. I love Demon: The Fallen as it really has a lot of themes I'd love to see explored in a non-apocalyptic context but Metathiax is very much of the typical Cthulhoid Earthbound mold. He is evil to be evil and provide the Sabbat a bigger evil to face. One thing I'd love to see would be Gulfora or other minor demons moving from Earthbound to being a Defiler or other demons gaining some non-Ravager perspective.

                            3. Agreed.

                            Lastly, there is something darkly comedic about Canadian cities being dark, deadly dystopian places because of the Sabbat.
                            It's like comic books that you need the world to be 99% the same as the real world. However, it's not terrible to throw in little things here and there that separate the world like the fact in the Dark Ages that big gothic castles are a thing in the 12th centuries along with other super-structures. I once made a document called "The World of Darkness vs. The World of Twilight" (before Twilight became a thing) that listed all the various ways our world differed from the World of Darkness.

                            Things like:
                            * The population is about a billion or two billion more.
                            * Massive slums exist in most cities
                            * Its easier to cover up environmental disasters than clean them up.
                            * The economic divide is even sharper

                            The unfortunate thing was that a lot of the stuff I wrote in 2004 eventually became fact.

                            That is a very solid insight about Dastur, and nothing like it occurred to me – congratulations.
                            It's a fascinating question to me.

                            It also begs the question whether Ur-Shulgi believes the Web of Knives/Assamite Original Clan Book history and is calling for Cainite global genocide or simply approves of the WoK because they're all on Team Haqim above everyone including Allah. My inclination is Ur-Shulgi, for whatever reason, doesn't choose to correct them on their "unique" view of history and is all for global diablerie and destruction of all non-Assamite vampires.

                            So Dastur will have to choose between the Path of Caine and the Path of Blood. Caine or Haqim.



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

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                            • I decided to do the Lucita section of your post, Grumpy RPG Reviews as it's own post.

                              Lucita: In his discussion of the first chapter @CTPhillips mentions a humours bit where Lucita steals borrows Beckett’s jet. They have a funny back and forth about who owes who a favour and for what.

                              But it is important to remember that everyone is this book is a vampire, is a monster, and is evil. All of them. Even the Salubri.
                              If I may quote, of all things, DARTH BANE: PATH OF DESTRUCTION, good and evil are directions versus absolute states. You're always moving in one direction or another. It's a concept I've had a lot of fun exploring in my books The Rules of Supervillainy and Wraith Knight--good vs. evil in a fantasy context. There's a spectrum of the principle that is a pretty large amount even among Elders let alone Neonate vampires.

                              For example, I'd say the Salubri are better considered to be DELUDED rather than evil. They're still monsters but seeking some sort of Baptismal font or Holy Grail (if not literally both) that will make all of their suffering and terrible actions worth it.

                              One thing I emphasize in my games is that vampires are CURSED. Everything they touch will turn to ash and they can't really make the world a better place. However, the story essentially stops being interesting the moment a vampire stops trying. Lodin is interesting to me more than your typical Sabbat shovelhead because as much of a scheming bastard he is, he still thinks he's the good guy in his narrative.

                              "Every villain is a hero of their own story." Is one of the writing techniques I always put in my tales. That applies to Lucita, Backett, Anatole, and others--and what makes them compelling. It's also why I'm generally against Paths.

                              At that point, you've surrendered to Insane Troll Logic (thank you, Buffy) rather than come up with the rationalizations of the real world.

                              Lucita didn’t want Beckett participating in the Sabbat rites because she didn’t want him hanging with the cool kids. She sees him as a useful tool but one unworthy of participating in the rites.
                              I don't read it that way at all. Then again, I'm not of the mind Lucita is a good fit for the Sabbat. The O.G. Anarch against her sire and woman who would not be controlled is not going to be able to fit in with the Sword of Caine anymore than she did as an Archon of the Camarilla. Her Brujah-esque defiance and few Touchstones with other vampires are all that keep her from wassail.

                              She sees no one as a friend. It is just as well that his supposed attraction to her never appears in BJD. Anatole is insane in his naivety if he think she would ever come back to them. She had never been in their “friend” in the first place, so there was nothing for her to return to – and being Regent of the monstrous Sabbat is not something from which anyone morally returns.
                              I'm going all the way back to the Transylvania Chronicles here and also David Niall Wilson's potrayal in Dark Age: Lasombra, a character who is functionally VERY DIFFERENT from the modern one. Anatole and Lucita travelled together for centuries with the former being her spirit guide in a way Moncada can't/couldn't/she didn't want him to be. Also, whatever relationship there might be among Kindred approximating love (I don't see her equal love/hate with Fatima being contradictory to a similar one existing with Anatole).

                              But yes, I actually agree that if Lucita went on the Path of Night and became Regent of the Sabbat, the transformation from Anakin Skywalker to Darth Vader would be complete. Except it would be final and irrevocable. Any past relationships she had would be meaningless once you adopt a Path as that destroys all that you were.

                              I mean, a guy can convert from a Path back to Humanity but that is something that requires either a literal miracle or your character being portrayed like Doctor Doom with superhuman will.

                              With respect, I think you, @CTPhillips, are reading too much into the supposed disgust of her friends. That disgust is at best hypocritical and at worst delusional.
                              All vampires on the Path of Humanity are monstrous hypocrites and self-deluded. The joke is that's better than accepting the truth. The Masquerade is the best possible thing to follow mentally and it's lying every day to yourself.

                              They are vampires – none of them are capable of proving the kind of emotional support and validation Lucita is apparently seeking. They do not love. They cannot love. They are the hungry dead caught in the tangle of lies they tell themselves. They are vampires.
                              I'll let Dracula state it for us from the original novel.

                              "You yourself never loved; you never love!" On this the other women
                              joined, and such a mirthless, hard, soulless laughter rang through the
                              room that it almost made me faint to hear; it seemed like the pleasure
                              of fiends. Then the Count turned, after looking at my face attentively,
                              and said in a soft whisper:--

                              "Yes, I, too, can love; you yourselves can tell it from the past. Is it
                              not so?"
                              It is the curse of the vampire, to me, that they can love. It is something as essential to them as blood. It's just a need to possess, control, and hunger for the life of what they love. They will, eventually, destroy what they love.

                              And move onto the next object of their affection.

                              Mind you, I'm biased as I'm literally playing a character with the True Love merit who is desperate to prevent her from committing herself to Final Death.
                              Last edited by CTPhipps; 07-23-2019, 09:26 PM.


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

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                              • Please refer to the next posting.
                                Last edited by Grumpy RPG Reviews; 07-24-2019, 01:25 AM. Reason: Lucita made me do it.

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