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

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  • Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post
    Also, according to his entry on the White Wolf Wiki, Dominic has not been in wassail for 800 year - as late as the end of the 2000 century he was a regular vampire.
    That's my understanding also, I think he went Sabbat after being freed from the Cathedral of Flesh though from this chapter you can infer that he couldn't adapt to a Path from his already low humanity and that's finally pushed him into wassial.

    A pity, he was always one of my favourite NPCs from TbN and hoped he would maybe return as a bigger player in V20 but really having being a part of the Cathedral for so long isnt going to do much for a Vampires long term well being

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    • Originally posted by Zorin001 View Post

      That's my understanding also, I think he went Sabbat after being freed from the Cathedral of Flesh though from this chapter you can infer that he couldn't adapt to a Path from his already low humanity and that's finally pushed him into wassial.

      A pity, he was always one of my favourite NPCs from TbN and hoped he would maybe return as a bigger player in V20 but really having being a part of the Cathedral for so long isnt going to do much for a Vampires long term well being
      Speaking of which, it is DAMN WEIRD the Cathedral of Flesh has been WANDERING AROUND since it ate Yorak.

      I'm pretty sure it's either the Tzimisce Antediluvian or Kupala period.

      It reminds me of the fact in Werewolf there's actually a football field-sized giant worm underneath Trinity Testing Site. One the Black Spiral Dancers use as a caern like Monstro the Whale.

      (I favor an integrated World of Darkness with things like "The Cult of the Worm" that Kindred know has tens of thousands of devotees but don't suspect are the richest group in the world but these things make it hard)
      Last edited by CTPhipps; 08-01-2019, 04:53 AM.


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

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      • Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
        Speaking of which, it is DAMN WEIRD the Cathedral of Flesh has been WANDERING AROUND since it ate Yorak.

        I'm pretty sure it's either the Tzimisce Antediluvian or Kupala period.
        I always assumed the Cathedral of Flesh was the Tzimisce Antediluvian, at least at some stage of the Eldest. It has been everything from a person to a Cathedral of Flesh to a Tree to the Blob that Ate Manhattan. When the CoF is not the Eldest, then it is a ruse to distract other vampires.

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        • Random aside but this book reminds me so much of why I love OPP that I hope they have bonus supplements for the Cult of the Blood Gods Kickstarter as stretch goals.

          They really should do a whole line of books for V5.
          Last edited by CTPhipps; 08-01-2019, 08:05 PM.


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

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          • Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post

            I always assumed the Cathedral of Flesh was the Tzimisce Antediluvian, at least at some stage of the Eldest. It has been everything from a person to a Cathedral of Flesh to a Tree to the Blob that Ate Manhattan. When the CoF is not the Eldest, then it is a ruse to distract other vampires.
            There's also the argument to be made that everyone and everything that has shared Tzimisce blood is an extension of the Eldest. To what degree control is exerted varies. I imagine the Cathedral of Flesh is just another part of the Eldest, that serves its own purpose much like the Sabbat (with their regular Vaulderie) do. In the case of the latter, it's to spread the Eldest far and wide; a very r-strategist approach to survival. Whereas the former is a colossal mass that can burrow underground, hiding a great deal of raw power in one huge, difficult to kill package. (That the CoF is underground, where dropping nukes is ineffective, is part of the advantage, even if it predates nuclear weapons by centuries). A very K-strategist thing to do. The mass that is (or was) under New York serves a similar function.

            Moreover, a colossal mass of flesh that is also an intricate work of fleshcrafting art probably serves some kind of magical purpose. Imagine a million mouths muttering incantations while a million sets of hands perform somatic gestures. "For Ritual Purposes" begins to mean something far different when you have so much flesh working in concert, in whatever form you need it in from moment to moment. And that's just the idea I thought of off the top of my head. We haven't even gotten into how the Cathedral of Flesh might interact with leylines or deep spirits of the land yet.


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            • Those are solid insights Bluecho .

              There is a bit later in BJD where the Tzimisce Antediluvian apparently comes to the realization it had lost itself somewhere along the way, and is rethinking things or at least seeking to consult with the other Antediluvians. I suspect it realized it was being played by Kupala, and everything about Vicissitude actually served the Demon.

              So the 10,000 chanting voices of the Cathedral of Flesh would always serve Kupala, and Tzimisce was only ever a means to an end.
              Last edited by Grumpy RPG Reviews; 08-01-2019, 11:28 PM.

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              • Chapter Sixteen: The Deaths of Baba Yaga

                Beckett opens this chapter with a discussion about how the majority of vampires in Russia were briefly imprisoned behind the "Shadow Curtain." He pretty much describes the oddity of Kindred involved in the events of Rage across Russia.

                He starts by describing the Brujah revolt against the Ventrue, Toreador, and Old Clan Tzimisce who ruled the country prior to the events of the October Revolution. I always liked the reminder that both the Russian Revolution and French Revolution had Brujah "Anarch" revolts because it gives the Anarchs a bit more cachet even if the Soviets show they can become much-much worse than the Ventrue.

                There's a questionable bit where the Brujah apparently murder every woman with green eyes in Omsk in order to make it more difficult for Ventrue to feed. While I don't think that's too exaggerated in order to cover the excesses of revolution in general, that's ridiculous for Kindred. It also feels like a poor Ventrue feeding weakness in general.

                Maybe something like, "The Brujah executed whole family lineages of the Ventrue nobles who fed from them or their servants."
                Beckett then goes into explaining that Baba Yaga was a 4th Generation Nosferatu. She was several thousand years, took over Russia, and ruled it in the most-Masquerade breaking manner possible. This is because Baba Yaga isn't a Vampire: The Masquerade villain. She is a Werewolf: The Apocalypse villain.

                Amusingly, Anatole says that her army of dragons were unfilmable. They're Spirits in physical bodies which is W:TA based but also could apply to Chimera and Bygones. Beckett shares some horrifying stories about the Shadow Curtain and how it was used to dispose of childer who their sires wanted to get rid of without murdering them. Also, Lucita lose her friend Selene in Russia. First of all, I don't know if this is meant to be another canon character or just sharing a name with the Underworld character. Next, I'm surprised Lucita has any friends other than Beckett and Anatole.

                Beckett is invited to a mysterious castle that contains a demon inside a knife. Beckett is smart enough not to go in.

                Beckett goes to St. Petersberg to meet with Nikolai who is not the child-vampire but the Prince of the city that was put in charge by the Brujah Council to serve as a distraction from the oppressive totalitarian government they instituted on their fellow vampires. He talks about working for Baba Yaga and then how a huge chunk of her army was mysteriously destroyed.

                I liked this section as a curious little historical anachronism that the Brujah could play political games about their presentation to the world. However, I don't think it actually shared how their cities were run otherwise. How DID Nikolai's reign differ from the Brujah Council? Mind you, given the sheer upheaval in the RL Soviet Union circa Lenin to Stalin and subsequently, I'm also curious how the Brujah Council would run in any manner. You'd think anyone they had in power would be horribly killed in a short time-span given the various turn overs so how were they running anything?

                That's a problem with all historical urban fantasy, though. Vampires and mages should have an affect on history but shouldn't be behind everything either.
                Beckett ends up with a vampire named Angus and explores the woods of Russia until they find a huge chunk of Nosferatu vampires related to Baba Yaga and in torpor due to magical means. He then later finds Angus killed, some iron teeth around him, and a mysterious message from Absimiliard. Beckett believes that Baba Yaga might or might not still be dead due to the iron teeth around him but wouldn't that be a sign she IS dead?

                Adventure Hooks

                Some pretty standard ones for the setting as well as finding a "fake" Baba Yaga that could be one of the ones who inspired the legend or a childer of hers.

                Thoughts

                This chapter leaves me cold, I'm going to be honest. It's still steak and well-done steak but it's a little too well-done and not my favorite in the work. I appreciate the follow-up to the silliness of the Shadow Curtain and the willingness of the book to touch EVERYTHING metaplot related but this is entirely my own issues here.

                The chapter isn't badly done by any means but the chapter essentially feels like, "Yeah, that was a thing that happened, wasn't it?" I think this may more thoroughly erase Baba Yaga's legacy than nuking Enoch did the Tal'Mah'Ra.

                1. All of her armies are dead.
                2. All of her descendants are in torpor
                3. The Shadow Curtain is down
                4. Baba Yaga is almost certainly dead-dead and you'd just have to meet another Baba Yaga.
                5. Her biggest legacies are some flesh monsters she made and are wandering around the woods.

                I feel like they really wrapped up everything in the whole RaR book and it feels kind of disappointing as that doesn't leave many plot threads to follow up on or to tell a more Vampire-esque story. Which is a shame because I felt Revised wrapped it up poorly with ending a Werewolf plot with TO GRANDMOTHER'S HOUSE WE GO, an adventure that canonically ended with any Nosferatu being killed with no possibility of survival.

                Last edited by CTPhipps; 08-02-2019, 09:39 PM.


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

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                • Chapter Sixteen: The Deaths of Baba Yaga notes

                  1. Generally, I think the Russian Federation is a great potential place to run V:TM games because well, plenty of V:TM players are in Russia right now. I feel bad for the developers caught in that thunderstorm over the Chechnya chapter since their lives were actually in danger over events but that's beyond the scope of this thread. I feel like this hinted at what's happening there like the return of the Brujah Council and the revival of Anarch totalitarianism (which should be an oxymoron but isn't among vampires). I feel like I didn't get much of a sense of what was going on, though.

                  2. I feel like Baba Yaga is a great werewolf character in that she's the perfect "final boss" for a pack of werewolves to be the ones to destroy at the end of a campaign. Either with a Fetish maguffin or magical binding or just through tooth and claw. That's a game with a strong emphasis on combat after all. However, I always felt "she's randomly murdered by some Nictuku" was a really poor way of ending her storyline. Her storyline was a very "on rails" storyline that didn't actually require the PCs at all. It suffered from a common NIGHT OF PROPHECY problem where the PCs don't affect events, they just witness them.

                  3. I actually have Baba Yaga as a rather central figure in my mythology due to the assumption that the writers of V:TM wrote themselves into a corner with her. The writers said that the Nossie Antediluvian embraced and Blood Bonded all of his childer except for one who escaped. This, obviously, would be Baba Yaga since she's both powerful enough to do it and hates her sire. However, some later supplements say SHE's a Nictuku or say its someone else. It's weird and feels almost like the writers were embarrassed to associate with a classic witch of mythology.

                  4. But speaking like Kupala, Baba Yaga is the kind of character that should never actually show up in gaming even if her agents do. You can theoretically kill Helena, even if it's very very fucking hard. Baba Yaga is a character that should be one of those, "You die." The only way to take her down would be Russian fairy tale style like finding her soul in an egg somewhere. In fact, I was kind of hoping for more concrete evidence she might have survived and gone into hiding from her sire.

                  Weirdly, I take back what I said. There's a bit where Harry Dresden meets Grandmother Winter and its basically Baba Yaga. You CAN have the PCs meet Baba Yaga--they should just never think they should fight her. I could also see her showing up in Changeling or child Mage games.

                  5. I feel like this chapter doesn't give nearly as many possible answers for the mysteries presented in the book as they could. In other chapters, we get six solutions for "What is X?" It even carries over to Chicago by Night with the origins of Nerissa Blackwater being a half-dozen possibilities. Here, things happen but we don't have an explanation for any of it like "why are the Nosferatu all torporous?"

                  I mean, an answer could be the Werewolves did it. "We bound all of Baba Yaga's spawn to an eternal sleep." But I'm not sure why all of her childer being wiped out is that great of a story to begin with--and why the PCs would care.

                  6. What happened to the dragons?

                  So, yeah, it's not a bad chapter but it felt like an epilogue than a new beginning.
                  Last edited by CTPhipps; 08-02-2019, 09:40 PM.


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

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                  • One thing confused me in this chapter, with regards to Lucita's friend trapped behind the Shadow Curtain, it makes it sound like the curtain has been active for at least a couple of hundred years but I was always under the impression that it didn't start till Baba Tags returned. Have I read it wrong?

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                    • Originally posted by Zorin001 View Post
                      One thing confused me in this chapter, with regards to Lucita's friend trapped behind the Shadow Curtain, it makes it sound like the curtain has been active for at least a couple of hundred years but I was always under the impression that it didn't start till Baba Tags returned. Have I read it wrong?
                      Selene reacts with incredible panic and focuses constantly on escaping until she's killed but I didn't get the impression it was longer than a few years.


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

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                      • Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                        1. Generally, I think the Russian Federation is a great potential place to run V:TM games because well, plenty of V:TM players are in Russia right now.
                        And for all of them whom I know personally this chapter was a complete disappointment. We live in the era of the Internet, I don't believe it was so hard to find a native speaker to check the language, or to find out that there are no real mountains around Ufalej (both of them) and all caves are found by the local speleologists long ago... At least the thing about Omsk and green eyes can be forgiven like Malkavian nonsense.

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                        • Originally posted by Jargal View Post

                          And for all of them whom I know personally this chapter was a complete disappointment. We live in the era of the Internet, I don't believe it was so hard to find a native speaker to check the language, or to find out that there are no real mountains around Ufalej (both of them) and all caves are found by the local speleologists long ago... At least the thing about Omsk and green eyes can be forgiven like Malkavian nonsense.
                          It's a nice story about creepy mass murder of young women to get at Ventrue but brings up so many other issues.


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

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                          • Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                            Chapter Fourteen: The Price of Hospitality

                            Dracula proceeds to take Beckett to an old Gargoyle Eyrie and ends up fighting Dominic the Brujah which Beckett calls an Inconnu. I find this to be a weird statement since Dominic is in wassail and has been for centuries. He almost certainly never joined the Inconnu before he died and it's kind of sad no one has permanently put him down.
                            I think Dominic joines the Inconnu to defeat his arch-enemy Bulscu of Clan Ventrue (as per TC IV) and I kind of remember him loosing it to the beast after having achieved his goal (20th century), so he will have been a wight for some years, but not centuries.

                            Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                            Caltuna then helps Beckett escape the Castle but gives him a bunch of fragments of his sword to make it so Beckett can't return.
                            She seems to be a new DAV20-NSC, she even got a nice pic. But what's her role in all of this?

                            Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                            We also have it confirmed that the Nosferatu Antediluvian and Toreador Antediluvian canonically did have their tete-to-tete in The Tranyslvania Chronicles with Kupala being freed by the PCs versus a nuclear war breaking out. As such, that could be the event that prevented Gehenna.
                            The Toreador Antediluvian is not actually mentioned, so we can still ignore this part of tragic-romance if we want and still keep the nuclear threat :-)


                            Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                            Did we need Transylvania by Night and the Transylvania Chronicles updated? Probably more so than Constantinople by Night but not necessarily something that required a follow up. However, Dracula is a real crowd-pleaser and Kupala is an archenemy of the Antediluvians that the player characters have chances of actually dealing with. The idea of Dracula actually killing the demon seems like something that deserves to exist as Transylavania Chronicles IV ends on an anti-climax. You save the world but Kupala is free now so what's the point? [...] Re-binding or killing Kupala seems like a better ending.
                            I, myself like the idea of Kupala being a threat in and of himself AND in addition being a threat as a possible draining-victim of Dracula's sword more appealing. You could even give one of your SCs the option of draining him - and becoming something darker still.

                            Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                            10. What IS the thing that Beckett encountered in the Transylvanian soil?
                            I think it could have been Kupala spirits, as mentioned by TbN, which are capable of possessing humans - than again, Kupala is in a physical form now, so maybe there are no such spirits anymore.

                            Last edited by Athanasius; 08-02-2019, 09:57 AM.

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                            • Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post

                              I always assumed the Cathedral of Flesh was the Tzimisce Antediluvian, at least at some stage of the Eldest. It has been everything from a person to a Cathedral of Flesh to a Tree to the Blob that Ate Manhattan. When the CoF is not the Eldest, then it is a ruse to distract other vampires.
                              Would have been a fitting story if not for the fact that the Tree form (around 1230 AD) and the CoF (1198-1472) are contemporary entities. What can be argued in favor of your theory, though, is, that after it's destruction by Samiel - unfortunately, we don't know when that happened exactly - [Tzimisce] was given into Yorak's care.

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                              • I did write that "When the CoF is not the Eldest, then it is a ruse to distract other vampires." So people get involved in the CoF while the Eldest is off being a lilac tree or something.

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