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

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  • Originally posted by Athanasius View Post
    Where BJD gives us rather detailed updates of half a dozen north-american cities, we don't know anything about Russia after Baba's death aside of Nicolai. I can't say that I planned to place a story there anytime soon, but had I planned one, I wouldn't be much wiser after reading this unfortunately.
    To update something there must be something, and previous WoD materials about Russia were.. not of very high quality.

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    • Originally posted by Jargal View Post

      To update something there must be something, and previous WoD materials about Russia were.. not of very high quality.
      I dunno, Rage across Russia wasn't something that actually was that bad for what it was. The problem is basically what I call the Iron Fist Problem where genres get crossed. Netflix's owners wanted to do an Iron Fist series while it's CREATORS were very much on the idea of wanting to do dark, gritty, socially relevant storylines. Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Daredevil was aout as far as they were willing to go with weirdness. Iron Fist is about a magical Batman kung-fu master who occasionally has Mortal Kombat tournaments.

      Everyone basically says the writer's room was like pulling teeth as they hated the character, the assumptions about the universe, and were well outside their comfort zone. It was a similar thng with the Defenders as they didn't want and couldn't get into a more typical MCU-esque zone.

      Which to get back to my point, Rage across Russia was about big armies of monsters fought by heroic Silver Fangs, Get of Fenris, and Shadow Lord warriors. It was a big silly Modern Medieval Game. It was also fine for what it was and only becomes bizarre when you try to do vampire with its information.


      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 Athanasius View Post
        Sorry to be late to the party - again -, but I just re-read the chapter yesterday and wanted to add some thoughts.
        Eh, nothing to be late about. This is my favorite thread to kill time until new supplements come in so I should probably slow down.

        That has to be a nod to Underworld. I can't be the first one to notice the similarities between Selene (bad ass, leather-wearing, gun-wielding, killer chick with sire-issues) and Lucita (the same, basically)?
        Yes, I've noticed some similarities between Lucita and Selene myself.

        What I like about Angus are two things, not really related to him as a NPC: 1) The parallels to his relationship with Beckett with that of his sire Okulos'. 2) Him being a perfect example of how cold/ anatical Beckett can be in his search for answers. He just uses Angus, puts him into harms way, even though he could have easily helped him in finding Okulos.
        Yes, Beckett is pretty friendly for an Elder but he's still a scheming asshole. I kind of think he's about where Smiling Jack is, personally.

        Basically, I have to agree with you here, that it seems to be more than an epilogue, than a starting point. That doesn't have to be a bad thing, though. As for the Shadow curtain, I think there are plenty of opportunities to create a story around missing childer, revenge-seeking prisoners and the like. I also like Baba Yaga being dead, with all the methuselahs having survived/faked their deaths in this book alone (notably, Vitel or Mithras), I wouldn't appreciate another "but what if she survived..." chapter.
        Mind you, if anyone was going to survive, it would be the inspiration for the Wicked Witch of the West. I'd also give Baba Yaga one of the few, "actually possible to be resurrected from the dead" bennies that previously only Samuel Haight and Mummies have had in-universe.

        I do think that there are a lot of unexplained mysteries in this chapter as well, though. The knife-demon at least gets a plot hook, but one that escapes me again, despite having read it yesterday - well, I was a bit tired. You already mentioned the question of Baba Yagas torpid childer and I myself was intrigued by the fate of Gutka, the Salt-Queen, who seems to have perished in a train station of St. Petersbourg. I think she tries to reach her sire, when Baba Yaga awakens, as per TbN, but I don't remember her exact destiny. But than again - this chapter doesn't give you much to work with. The same goes for the whole russian setting.
        I actually think it's more the knife-demon isn't a terribly interesting plot. It's a demon in a knife. A bit like the demon under the mountain in Montreal, there's not much to do there.

        Where BJD gives us rather detailed updates of half a dozen north-american cities, we don't know anything about Russia after Baba's death aside of Nicolai. I can't say that I planned to place a story there anytime soon, but had I planned one, I wouldn't be much wiser after reading this unfortunately.
        I admit, my very Western write-up for Russia in my game notes is this.

        Russian Federation, V5

        The descendants of the survivors of the Brujah Council, mostly its younger members Embraced during the Soviet Union or from adults during that time period, have attempted to rebuild their former alliance. Pseudo-communist rhetoric accompanies hand-in-pocket work with oligarchs, Pentex, corrupt government officials, and large scale enriching of themselves. They have also allied with Ventrue, Caitiff, and Lasombra among other unusual allies in an attempt to rebuild their former power base but much territory has opened up following the Shadow Curtain's fall. Russia is a place where there are many unclaimed cities and the vampire-human population is surprisingly low thanks to the devastating consequence of the Hag's tyranny. The Anarchs in Russia are in a peculiar position of being as likely to face their "fellow" revolutionaries and various varities of Brujah (Muslim, Nationalist, Stalinist, Bolshevik) than they are old time elders.

        With one exception.

        Ironically, the biggest beneficiaries of recent events are the Old Clan Tzimisce. The Old Clan Tzimisce have had many older members of their clan come out of centuries-long torpor (or at least decades) to find that many of their former enemies are gone. They have reclaimed their former domiciles and begun Embracing anew, heedless of the Anarch Revol that never touched them. These new Tzimisce care little for the Sabbat and are more interested in territory than Vicissitude. The Sword of Caine, wrapped up in its own issues, has done nothing to deal with them even as they negotiate with the Camarilla. As bizarre as it sounds, some courts of the Tzimisce are less violent and more civilized than the Wild West of other territories. The Ivory Tower has considered, against all odds, recognizing these Tzimisce and making them an offer to join.

        The Second Inquisition is sporadic in the Federation as while there are many agents aware of the vampire problem, more so than in most governments by a factor of 2:1, the attitude is somewhat less grandiose. Many agents have made deals with the Kindred or attempted to employ them against their enemies. There's actual conflict between branches of the Second Inquisition as different groups believe others to be compromised or have differing goals. It is not uncommon for the regional FIRSTLIGHT to have Kindred informants who pass on information about their enemies while doing favors for "allies." Other places have horrific prisons where cruel experiments are done in hopes of unlocking the secrets of immortality or ways to wipe out Kindred biologically. Ghouldom has also become known as certain billionaires have sought ways of extending their lives through unnatural means.


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        • Chapter Eighteen: Carthago Delenda Est

          Beckett is contacted by Katherine Wiese a.k.a Ecaterina the Wise and invited to the country of Malta to escape from the assassins of the True Hand. Anatole says that Beckett is running from assassins who don't exist, except for the fact that they're trying to stab him in the face. Beckett has apparently done something that has resulted in Aisling calling a Blood Hunt on him, which makes me wonder if she's somehow become Prince of New York.

          Beckett comments on the fact Katherine's palace is a lot nicer than the usual Sabbat bolthole, which makes sense as she's a Proto-Sabbat before the sect degenerated into a bunch of psychopaths making blood abbatoirs in old hotels ala Bloodlines. She also has a childe named Yellowjacket who is covered in bee tattoos that Beckett points out is rather dumb due to Yellowjackets being wasps.

          Ecaterina then defected to the Camarilla under an assumed name since 600 years of killing the Ivory Tower tended to sour people on you, no matter how sincere your defection. Apparently, she left New York at one point and has rejoined some of her Sabbat brood but gained Christof who was, at last check, an Archon of the Camarilla. Oh those damn Prometheans!



          Beckett and "Katherine" talk a bit and mention the story of Carthage. Beckett is impressed with her age and compliments her on mangling "keep it under your hat." Which is kind of terrible for both of them and like old people trying to be cool. Ecaterina also makes the claim she's from Carthage but spent centuries in torpor despite this being all too similar to Christof's backstory.

          He makes an appearance moments later.

          What follows is a conversation about the Historical Carthage versus the World of Darkness Carthage. Basically, the subject of numerous RL controversies about whether or not the Carthagians were a bunch of baby sacrificing bastards. Its defenders claiming that they were not while Rome, Greece, and the Hebrews say yes. I'm inclined to say "yes" because its not like human sacrifice is particularly rare among regional human society.

          Anatole makes a funny reference to the Bible that talks about how seriously the Hebrews took how much they hated human sacrifice and good on them.

          There's also the Christof Romuald from the Encyclopedia Vampirica that mentions Christof's inaccurate Final Death at the end of the first half of the game. It's interesting to speculate on how much of Redemption is canon versus the work of Transylvania By Night as well as some of the more outlandish elements of the story.

          Albertus Magnus then goes on to give a e-mail detailing Ecaterina's backstory and history as well as the fact that as bad as she is (and she is), she's probably not any objectively worse than any other Elder her age--which is pretty damn bad. Albertus also gives Beckett the keys to breaking the Thaumaturgical wards on Carthage's tomb. Which...WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT!? I mean, he's a descendant of Critias but seriously. Albertus also gives this information to Aisling Sturbridge which means Ecaterina's Camarilla identity is now fucked.

          Beckett arrives in Tusnia only to immediately have the airport blown up. He then has to pass himself off as a wolf in a cage for the zoo and escape from it later like an episode of What we do in the Shadows. He joins up with Ecaterina and Cristof, who have taken the Prince of Chester (now Antitribu) prisoner. Hilariously, Christof shows a sarcastic and modern side despite the fact he still talks like the Silver Age Thor.



          Christof also is revealed to have a replica of the Sword of Dracula which is presumably the same one he used to kill the Vukoladak. Beckett makes a referenec to Dracula's spear that I assume is deliberate induendo but whether to sex or impalement is anyone's guess. I initially thought the Prince of Chester was going to be Tal'Mah'Ra but he turns out to be a member of the Order of Edenic Groundskeepers, which shows that Matthew Dawkins and the other authors are as much in love with the Elysium supplement as I am. This is where the Tick Tock Man shows up and blows up the apartment as well as kills Marcus Verus.

          They head to the ruins of Carthage itself and meet with Al-Munatathir who is a True Brujah. Al-Munathir more or less shows Ecaterina was lying her ass about living in Carthage as he explains what was REALLY going on in that city. It was neither a Baali-ridden hellhole or a Kindred paradise but more a typical Osirian cult. The Kindred were gods and the humans gave themselves up to be eaten willingly. I would complain this is a bit "both sides are right" but this is literally what I said it was in my games too.

          Ecaterina is disappointed by this revelation.

          Al-Munathir also states that Carthage was under a curse due to Brujah (not Troile) dumping all of his excess emotions onto the city. The Tick Tock Man attacks and they have a sanity-blasting fight with various younger and older selves.

          Adventures

          This section of the book is designed around updating, to an extent, both the story of Carthage in Vampire: The Masquerade as well as (to a lesser extent) the story of Vampire: The Masquerade: Redemption. The history of Carthage and its destruction is something that is one of those interesting legacies from 1st Edition Vampire: The Masquerade with its utopian status conflicting with the fact the Romans considered them Chaotic Evil monsters. Mind you, the Romans
          were no strangers to infanticide themselves so their condemnation of the Carthagians is incredibly hypocritical.

          (It's weird but a discussion of this turned up in An American Weredeer in Michigan so it feels like a good point to talk)

          Personally, I think the choice here to make the Carthagians a bunch of vampires pretending to be deities (pretending? I'm not sure that's the right word when you're an Antediluvian and bunch of Methuselahs) versus a Baali-controlled cult or a Utopian bunch of good guys. Morality was not the same back then and what might have been considered a Utopia back then was also a hellhole for other people. I can easily think the WOD Carthagians thought having an Antediluvian rule them and lead their armies was enough to make them have the better part of the deal. It's why some of the Brujah in my game call it The Third City.

          The book states that there are a bunch of Brujah and other ancients buried underneath Carthage just waiting to be Awakened. I'm inclined to think this was probably Stop 1# on the Sabbat's Gehenna Crusade and that they probably didn't find Troile but maybe found a shit ton of ancient Brujah to diablerize (and be possessed by). After all, if there's ANY place you know a bunch of ancient Kindred to be located in, it's Carthage's ruins.

          This book gives us a "current location" for Christof in the WOD after the events of Redemption after the Clan Novels had him working as a Archon for the Camarilla. Which, honestly, is probably the best place for him but this has him leave to join Ecaterina. I like this because Christof is a man of great loyalty. Anezka isn't with Christoph and I'm interested in wondering if this is because he chose not to Embrace her in this universe or if he did -- then found out that after 800 years, she's actually a monstrously evil Elder. I'd really like to have more information on the events of V:TR actually even if it was a very silly game at times.

          Thoughts

          Overall, a really solid chapter. As silly as Christof's history can be, I really like the character and I think both he and Ecaterina the Wise are good additions to any campaign the players might choose to interact with. I also like what they did with the mythology of Carthage in the World of Darkness. I have issues with the True Brujah and the Tick Tok Man feels like someone inserted a DC comics villain in the middle of the storyline but I'll get to that in my notes.
          Last edited by CTPhipps; 08-07-2019, 04:25 AM.


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

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          • Notes

            This is a chapter I have a lot of notes about because I'm a fan of V:TM:R and Carthage's story both.

            1. Ecaterina the Wise is, of course, a character from Transylvania By Night who showed in V:TM:R then joined the Sabbat, only to show up in New York City by Night where she had finally figured out the Sword of Caine was a bunch of poseurs after a lengthy period of torpor. She has had an interesting journey across canon and I like when characters develop like this.

            2. Ecaterina is someone I DON'T think is actually from Carthage unless this book retcons it. Dominic, her sire, was from Carthage but Ecaterina is no more of Carthage than Cristof. They were both Prometheans but I think it's very likely Ecaterina is just lying her ass off here to seem more powerful than she is. [Note: It's flat out confirmed to be untrue in the "Adventure Hook" section so this note is meaningless.]

            3. Is Original Recipe Brujah Alive?: It seems increasingly likely that killing an Antediluvian is harder than it sounds, especially one that is capable of Temporis 10 (which presumably allows actual Time Travel, Travel) which means that he could be both dead as well as alive. There's also the fact that the idea that Troile murdered Brujah may not even be true. Troile is accused of killing Ventrue as well (maybe the True Brujah are their descendants instead) as well as diablerizing 2nd generation. We also have had it stated in places that Troile was the only childer of Brujah, so all True Brujah are descendants of Troile. It's possible they simply decided to abandon their emotions after the disaster that was Carthage.

            4. Troile is an interesting character since, aside from Saulot, Tremere, and Augustus, she's probably the one we know the most about. I prefer Troile as a woman, FYI, because if there's one group of oppressed minorities that are likely to inspire one to be angry at society then the patriarchy is one of the original to be angry about. While she's now established as Moloch's lover, I should note Moloch is the "iffy" Baali in that they're trying to keep the End of the World from happening even if it requires child-sacrifice and other evil shit.

            5. I'm inclined to think that Vampire: The Masquerade: Redemption is canonical to the World of Darkness but I wouldn't be adverse to some of its crazier elements being toned down for canon. There's a TV trope called "Broad Strokes" and I'm fond of it in things like Star Wars and comic books. https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.p...n/BroadStrokes

            6. For example, if they ever summarized the events of V:TM:R then I would probably make it so that the Vukodlak was lying about being a survivor of the Second City and was actually the childer of Shagara the Elder who was based in "his" territory. He's still a torporous Methuselah and immensely powerful but it makes Christof beating him slightly more believable. Also, the Cathedral of Flesh is actually just the Tzimisce Antediluvian (who felt disinclined to save his 6th generation great childer). Obviously, the Vukodlak's cult believes he can diablerize the antediluvians but this just means they're stupid rather than he could actually do it (nor does it invalidate that Christof destroying the Elder once he rises as a bad thing).

            In my notes, I made it so that Vukodlak was actually only a couple of centuries old in the Dark Ages and might have broken his spell much earlier if he hadn't been spirited away from the rampaging diablerists of the Anarch Revolt.

            7. I really am serious I'd like to know the fate of Anezka even though I'm certain that Christof and her unliving happily ever after is impossible. Christof Embracing her in the "Good" ending never quite stuck well with me as it's condemning her to damnation.

            8. The Ainkurn Sword is the "sister sword" of the Sword of Dracula and presumably was forged by Durga Syn the same way that its brother was. Its probably why Christof, even if he is an immensely powerful Neonate like the Fledgling, was able to hurt both Marcus Vitel as well as the Vukoladak. Here, it's stated to be a copy of the Dracula sword and I wonder if it's actually containing a fragment of the Dracula sword. I'm not sure that makes sense timeline wise, though. Either that or Christoph is just lying to throw Beckett off from an immensely valuable artifact.

            9. I think the Tick Tok Man is both silly and very useful in a game. It's nice to have a True Brujah who can show up in a game fuck shit up but he does look, act, and sound like a supervillain. However, 90% of the time, you'll never know a True Brujah is different from an Idealist Brujah so it's nice to have someone who wears his position overtly.

            10. My main issue with the True Brujah is the same one I have with the Nagaraja to an extent in that their history is drawing from an already well-trodden well. They're yet another Bloodline that used to be a Clan thanks to the diablerie of their ancestor that wants revenge. Like the Tremere and like the Giovanni (The Nagaraja being mages who became vampires). What do they bring that's new to the system? I actually like explaining why they have the exact opposite of the regular Brujah flaw with the idea of a magical attempt to divest True Brujah's Beast.
            Last edited by CTPhipps; 08-07-2019, 04:26 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
              9. I think the Tick Tok Man is both silly and very useful in a game. It's nice to have a True Brujah who can show up in a game fuck shit up but he does look, act, and sound like a supervillain. However, 90% of the time, you'll never know a True Brujah is different from an Idealist Brujah so it's nice to have someone who wears his position overtly.
              I like the Tik Tok Man being basically a vampire supervillain. It just means you reserve him for a campaign in which that kind of camp is appropriate. Less Personal Horror and more Katanas & Trenchcoats.

              Moreover, it occurs to me that, being a True Brujah, Tik Tok Man probably presents himself like a supervillain because he's emotionally incapable of finding it embarrassing. Other vampires might consider it a humiliation, but to a True Brujah it's a non-issue. Their hearts are too cold for that. Rather, the Tik Tok Man knows that other people might think it silly, which makes it a useful tool for disarming the unwary. Whereas those who know how dangerous the Tik Tok Man is turn the identity into something akin to an urban legend. Having people be fearful of "the Tik Tok Man, here to cut your time short" is also a useful tool.

              It's also a fairly old form of infamy, being known by a nom de plume. Just look at Game of Thrones, and how much mileage characters get from names like "The Hound" or "The Mountain that Rides". Many vampires come from a time when such aliases were common and demanded respect; it's only nowadays that folks are so jaded that they associate such identities with "children's entertainment" (and even that has shifted in recent years, with the resurgence of superheroes in pop culture).

              Again, though, the Tik Tok Man doesn't care. He's incapable of caring about what others think of his name, except in how that care can be leveraged into an advantage. HE'S just as dangerous as he always was, if not moreso. It's the problem of modern Kindred if they scoff and laugh, and fail to take him seriously. That just leaves them vulnerable, a weakness to be ruthlessly exploited.


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              • There's a short passage from Beckett about seeing Marcus Verus making off on his stumps after the blast so I think he's still alive.

                Also buried in the adventure hooks is the fact that the True Hand have started to act openly for the first time in millennia and I think started claiming Praxis in North Africa. So that can't be good.

                I also liked Al-Munatathir throwing shade on the Baali for simply sneaking into the sacrifice well and then emerging to followers in a cheap sleight of hand.

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                • Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                  Beckett has apparently done something that has resulted in Aisling calling a Blood Hunt on him
                  Not on him. Phrase: "P.S. Sorry again about leaving you, and Aisling calling a Blood Hunt on you in New York." is a part of Beckett's email to k.wiese@bloodspot.eg, so the Blood Hunt is called on Katherine.

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                  • I should mention I've always liked the Royal Order of Edenic Groundskeepers because it's nice to have the Order of the Crucifean Sword or the Magi to guard the secret resting places of the Antediluvians so they never wake up. Unlike the Tal'Mah'Ra which would want to wake them up, these are the guys who would build a huge Diablerie: Mexico like structure around a torporous Ancient then hope it never ever wakes up while not risking trying to destroy it. Because you don't want to take a shot at the Devil if you have the slightest chance of missing.

                    I like to think the Imperial Order of Master Edenic Groundskeepers also exists to potentially cause these ancients to wake up and fuck up things. They think they can go into R'lyeh and kill Cthuhu before the Stars are Right and I think we all agree the LEAST terrible thing that could happen is they die horribly.

                    We know these guys got infiltrated by the Tal'Mah'Ra from the book but I'm inclined to think unlike the Servitors of Irad, which I believe is entirely composed of Black Hand members or their supporters/lackies, this is more an infiltration. As the Royal Order's aims don't conflict with the Black Hand's necessarily. They just want to be WARNED when something horrifying is stirring.


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                    • Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                      I should mention I've always liked the Royal Order of Edenic Groundskeepers because it's nice to have the Order of the Crucifean Sword or the Magi to guard the secret resting places of the Antediluvians so they never wake up. Unlike the Tal'Mah'Ra which would want to wake them up, these are the guys who would build a huge Diablerie: Mexico like structure around a torporous Ancient then hope it never ever wakes up while not risking trying to destroy it.
                      It’s a pity then that according to the BJD Royal Order is just a tool of Tal'Mahe'Ra...

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                      • Originally posted by Jargal View Post

                        It’s a pity then that according to the BJD Royal Order is just a tool of Tal'Mahe'Ra...
                        And yet also at war with it.

                        That's the jyhad.


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

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                        • Time keeps slipping....

                          Given the rate at which Beckett pisses people off and burns bridges, perhaps it is a good thing he is time traveling. That way he can go back to harass people before he utterly wrecks his relationship with them.

                          For some chapters now, Beckett has not apparently been pursing Carna and the Book of the Grave War. Nor does this chapter appear to involve is work for Vitel, so Gangrel can get a copy of the Shall Fragment. This can mean only one simple thing!

                          Beckett falls into an adventure to the ruins of a notorious city, home to lots of restlessly sleeping demon-worshippers, because he used Wisdom as his dump stat.

                          The Noddist apologizes to Katherine Wiese, but that does nothing to change the fact he burned down her cover identity. He did not personally out her, but that is almost incidental.

                          “Carthago delenda est" is Latin for "Carthage must be destroyed." It is also the shortened form of "Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam", or "Ceterum autem censeo Carthaginem esse delendam." In English this "Furthermore, I consider that Carthage must be destroyed.” Roman orator, politician and well-known Ventrue stooge Cato the Censor added this to the end of all of his speeches, even if the speech was otherwise unconnected to the issue of Carthage.

                          In terms of the Baby Sacrificing™ going on in Carthage, I am reminded of a scene in the 1944 Bob Hope movie, The Princess and the Pirate. Hope’s pseudo-pirate character witnesses some men throwing a body into the harbor and brings this to the attention of a city guard. The guard responds that it’s alright because the men dropping the body have a license.

                          That is to say, the Ventrue did not care about the Carthaginian baby eating ™. They cared about territorial rivals – in the form of the Brujah to the Ventrue and Carthage to Rome. The infernalism just provided some ex post facto justification.

                          (As an aside, where were the Lasombra when all this was going on?)

                          It is interesting, but not surprising, that Carthage became a “Lost Cause” for Brujah – many of them who only know it from stories told to them about it, rather than from first-hand experience. So, these latter-day champions of Carthage can construct a paradise in their heads, and fight for something that never existed.

                          In Beckett’s conversation with Wiese she apparently tacitly mentions hearing the Beckoning. Unless she is lying. It is an interesting discussion of blood, and relationship, the two possess.

                          Originally posted by BJD pg. 311
                          My grandsire contacted me himself shortly before I received your message, whence he entrusted the keys to me and asked that I aid you, though he was oddly insistent that he did not know why.
                          The grandsire in this case is Critias, and it is interesting that he does not know why he provides the keys. Is he being manipulated by Menele? If so, what is motivating Menele?

                          The sequence with Marcus Verus reminded me of another bit of classic, high art, cinema.



                          I wonder if Dracula knows there is a twin to his sword out in the world. That might make his plans simpler, but make the existence of Christof much more complicated.

                          Originally posted by BJD pg. 317
                          Say what you will about those Romans, and we Britons can say quite a bit, but it’s quite difficult to keep them down. I should know.
                          I wonder what Vitel was going when Beckett went to Carthage.

                          And that is a solid insight about the Tick Tok Man, Bluecho. Between his name and his “…more or less announcing (his identity to Beckett) with that bloody pocket watch…” As with my observations about making the True Brujah more evil as a way to deal with the silliness of temporis, another way to handle the situation is to make them act like members of the Legion of Doom. And he does act a great deal like the Clock King.

                          Al-Muntathir’s dialogue with the group is great. Here Troile is conflated with the Tanit, a Punic and Phoenician goddess, the chief deity of Carthage. She was also called Tinnit, Tannou, or Tangou and appears equivelent to the moon-goddess Astarte, or Isis. Her consort was Baal-Hamon.

                          Originally posted by BJD pg. 321
                          Not spontaneously. No, they (the Baali) just sneak in, swim around a bit, and come out ominously. A disappointment to all.
                          I am not certain why but this strikes me as terribly funny. It’s almost a Terry Pratchett line, I think.

                          After this point the narrative tips over into a kind of cosmic horror. The realization of situations and forces that are beyond your control and comprehension. That something as (normally) immutably fixed as the flow of time is broken under Carthage is a surreal terror.

                          “Carthago delenda est." Carthage should be destroyed. Carthage is perpetually being destroyed. Carthage dies forever.

                          Proving he is not an utter fool, Beckett runs away.
                          Last edited by Grumpy RPG Reviews; 08-06-2019, 04:51 AM.

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                          • Originally posted by Bluecho View Post
                            I like the Tik Tok Man being basically a vampire supervillain. It just means you reserve him for a campaign in which that kind of camp is appropriate. Less Personal Horror and more Katanas & Trenchcoats.
                            I actually don't have much against the concept because one of the issues with the True Hand is one that I have brought up elsewhere: if you've done the game right then the players will never actually know they exist. One of the things in my notes is that Lucian from Gary is actually a member but there's almost no circumstances that would come up. They manuever behind the scenes and like Helena or Menele in most circumstances, you only feel their influence. TTM, by contrast, lets' you use Temporis in its most overt Masquerade-breaking Mage: The Ascension-esque reality breaking glory.

                            He don't care
                            .
                            A time-terrorist may not be particularly V:TM-like but it's certainly memorable and player characters wouldn't be able to face him under most circumstances.

                            Again, though, the Tik Tok Man doesn't care. He's incapable of caring about what others think of his name, except in how that care can be leveraged into an advantage. HE'S just as dangerous as he always was, if not moreso. It's the problem of modern Kindred if they scoff and laugh, and fail to take him seriously. That just leaves them vulnerable, a weakness to be ruthlessly exploited.
                            Another inclination I have for the TTM is that since the Black Hand have possibly suffered their worst defeat in years and reformed under different rules, that he might be inclined to simply cut loose and let the world know exactly what they can do. A possible origin for the TTM would be a Chatterling (a human raised by vampires/ghouls) completely lacking in typical humanity or fear of mundane humans.

                            A part of why I like the TTM is, supervillain or not, he's a bit like how I play Marauders in my M:TA games. They are overt, unapologetic, and terrifying as your assumptions about reality just vanish.

                            For pure silliness sake, here's a picture of Aeon from CASTLEVANIA: JUDGEMENT if I'm ever inclined to do my crossover game between Vampire: The Dark Ages and Modern Era.


                            Originally posted by Zorin001 View Post
                            There's a short passage from Beckett about seeing Marcus Verus making off on his stumps after the blast so I think he's still alive.

                            Also buried in the adventure hooks is the fact that the True Hand have started to act openly for the first time in millennia and I think started claiming Praxis in North Africa. So that can't be good.

                            I also liked Al-Munatathir throwing shade on the Baali for simply sneaking into the sacrifice well and then emerging to followers in a cheap sleight of hand.
                            Thanks for the correction. Personally, it stands to reason this is all the work of Izzim Ur-Baal taking over the True Hand and being more like Karsh or Jalan than your typical wheels-within-wheels Del Roh (who I was always of the mind was a 5th generation Toreador and one of Helena's children). Most of my vampire Elders prefer to operate like Deus Ex's Illuminati in that the big difference between the Camarilla and the True Hand was the latter were so damned good at it that the masters of the game never suspected their existence.

                            Izzim is like, "Let's make this more like Web of Knives." Which, again, might be interesting to speculate on given Ur-Shulgi is as close to an Antediluvian as you're going to get but only serves on Antediluvian not all of them (and the True Hand is still pretending that they all plan on gathering around a vessel and sing Kumbaya come Gehenna--though oddly that happens in one of the Gehenna scenarios, albeit with a table and more world domination than singing).



                            "All through the proper intermediaries, of courses."

                            "Intermediaries?"

                            "We have a great number of agencies who operate other agencies. Boxes within boxes..."

                            Originally posted by Jargal View Post

                            Not on him. Phrase: "P.S. Sorry again about leaving you, and Aisling calling a Blood Hunt on you in New York." is a part of Beckett's email to k.wiese@bloodspot.eg, so the Blood Hunt is called on Katherine.
                            That makes a lot more sense.
                            Last edited by CTPhipps; 08-07-2019, 06:33 AM.


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                            • Grumpy RPG Reviews

                              Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post
                              Time keeps slipping....

                              Given the rate at which Beckett pisses people off and burns bridges, perhaps it is a good thing he is time traveling. That way he can go back to harass people before he utterly wrecks his relationship with them.
                              It's a good thing that Beckett is a Gangrel because the fact he's always on the move is probably the only reason more vampires have not devoted resources to his destruction as he's always someone else's problem. It's only moments like with Hardestadt (when, in the words of Morgan Freeman, "My client is one of the richest, most powerful men in the world and you believe he beats up criminals up at night--and your plan is to blackmail him?") that gets him in deep trouble.

                              In fact, because this is a subject that bears repeating, Beckett actually gets told by some Alastors that he's one of the candidates for the Red List. Beckett is genuinely SURPRISED by this despite the fact the Red List is as often political embarrassments or personal grudges as existential threats to Kindred society. Honestly, it's a bigger surprise that he hasn't been on it earlier (and only because of Jan that he doesn't get put on it).

                              For some chapters now, Beckett has not apparently been pursing Carna and the Book of the Grave War. Nor does this chapter appear to involve is work for Vitel, so Gangrel can get a copy of the Shall Fragment. This can mean only one simple thing
                              I think that this is definitely before the rest of his adventures.

                              Beckett falls into an adventure to the ruins of a notorious city, home to lots of restlessly sleeping demon-worshippers, because he used Wisdom as his dump stat.
                              Next chapter, he receives an invitation to a haunted and horrifying monastery with a personal threat. So Beckett immediately goes there, much to Okulus' confusion/horror.

                              The Noddist apologizes to Katherine Wiese, but that does nothing to change the fact he burned down her cover identity. He did not personally out her, but that is almost incidental.
                              This pretty much just leaves the Anarchs as a potential home for Ecaterina and Christof after the events of the chapter. Certainly, her bridges with both the Sabbat as well as the Camarilla have been well and truly burned. However, that may be the best place for her as they are in bad need of philosophy and guidance that (otherwise) the Ministry will provide. Ecaterina may not want to educate a bunch of dumb rabble after the Sabbat but they're not nearly as lost to the Beast as their fellows (or she is for that matter).

                              However, the issue may be moot as the description of Ecaterina the Wise hearing the Call of Carthage may actually be the Beckoning (or at least a version of it). I would be interested in knowing whether the chapter was written before the Beckoning concept was told to them or after.

                              “Carthago delenda est" is Latin for "Carthage must be destroyed." It is also the shortened form of "Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam", or "Ceterum autem censeo Carthaginem esse delendam." In English this "Furthermore, I consider that Carthage must be destroyed.” Roman orator, politician and well-known Ventrue stooge Cato the Censor added this to the end of all of his speeches, even if the speech was otherwise unconnected to the issue of Carthage.
                              I completely forgot this part!

                              In terms of the Baby Sacrificing™ going on in Carthage, I am reminded of a scene in the 1944 Bob Hope movie, The Princess and the Pirate. Hope’s pseudo-pirate character witnesses some men throwing a body into the harbor and brings this to the attention of a city guard. The guard responds that it’s alright because the men dropping the body have a license.

                              That is to say, the Ventrue did not care about the Carthaginian baby eating ™. They cared about territorial rivals – in the form of the Brujah to the Ventrue and Carthage to Rome. The infernalism just provided some ex post facto justification.
                              I'm inclined to agree. It's easy enough to say that vampires had nothing to do with X or Y in the setting. Certainly, you lose a lot with the French Revolution being the product of Brujah against the Toreador but in this case--I see the Ventrue as simply mirroring the opinions of Rome at the time. They'd been humiliated and their power base threatened so I was inclined to think they did feel the need to destroy Carthage forever. I mean, bluntly, unless Ventrue was living in Rome himself then the presence of an Antediluvian has to scare a man bloodless.

                              I feel like if anyone was actually worried about the baby-eating, Infernalism, and End of the World As We Know ItTM then it would be the Malkavians. Much like the Marauders I have the suspicion that while they're personally broken, they're controlled by forces beyond their control that direct them to prevent things like the apocalypse whenever possible.

                              (As an aside, where were the Lasombra when all this was going on?)
                              The Lasombra talk a good game and in LORE OF THE CLANS, its hilarious how the entire thing is one long masturbatory rant about how awesome they are. My inclination is they weren't even the 2nd Clan of Rome but the third or fourth. It would be awhile before they built up their own Empire. Mind you, I think some of the other powers of the time got ignored. Sparta and Athens undoubtedly had their own vampires, right? What about Persia?

                              Basically, the Lasombra were undoubtedly in Rome but were probably just controlling some sea trade and not yet major power players. Their heyday was yet to come.

                              It is interesting, but not surprising, that Carthage became a “Lost Cause” for Brujah – many of them who only know it from stories told to them about it, rather than from first-hand experience. So, these latter-day champions of Carthage can construct a paradise in their heads, and fight for something that never existed.
                              It says something about vampires that they are still fighting for a city dead for millennia. Of course, it's entiely possible that Critias is literally the entire reason that Carthage is still a thing among Brujah as he's someone who could very well be responsible for all of the nostalgia for the region as a 5th Generation orator of superhuman abilities. Certainly, Dominic wanted to avenge things but he's unlikely to do much publishing or lecturing about the subject.

                              The grandsire in this case is Critias, and it is interesting that he does not know why he provides the keys. Is he being manipulated by Menele? If so, what is motivating Menele?
                              Albertus Magnus provides Beckett with a bunch of thaumaturgical keys to undo the Ventrue hedge magic circa 149 B.C. This is completely overlooked in the text but Beckett and company break a lot of magical wards and seals getting to the Tophet that may actually have allowed a shit ton of Methuselahs to wake up and begin the Gehenna War.

                              "YOU MUSN'T READ FROM THE BOOK!"

                              Whether this was Menele's plan on behalf of his sire or not is anyone's guess but Menele is a Hedge Magician who, if not Ur-Shulgi levels of power then is almost certainly Al-Ashard levels of power. Another possibility is it is just Critias wanting to help redeem the memory of his beloved city-state.

                              I wonder if Dracula knows there is a twin to his sword out in the world. That might make his plans simpler, but make the existence of Christof much more complicated.
                              Dracula being Dracula, I can easily see that finding a fully-intact version of his sword and capable of being used to kill Kupala, he'd decide to use it to find the other sword fragments because he's going to do it HIS way.

                              After this point the narrative tips over into a kind of cosmic horror. The realization of situations and forces that are beyond your control and comprehension. That something as (normally) immutably fixed as the flow of time is broken under Carthage is a surreal terror. “Carthago delenda est."
                              Carthage should be destroyed. Carthage is perpetually being destroyed. Carthage dies forever. Proving he is not an utter fool, Beckett runs away.
                              It may actually be impossible to destroy the Antediluvians. Ravnos is dead but....will he stay that way?
                              Last edited by CTPhipps; 04-19-2020, 03:08 PM.


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                              • Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                                Chapter Seventeen: The Fall of the House
                                [...]

                                A group called House Nagoma gave Beckett a pendant and bone ring to protect him from the kind of impressive wards a 4th generation Tremere is capable of producing. I don't know who the Nagoma are but Anatole is impressed enough to comment on it in his notes.
                                I think it's Aisling again, her A is the more elaborate one, and it makes more sense for her to comment on Beckett's magician-connections.


                                Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                                Then someone, presumably Schrekt, smashes in to get at him.
                                I think, Tsang leaped to his own Final Death, as verified by the next outgame-infos.

                                Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                                Thoughts

                                Oh and Tremere/Goratrix are confirmed as lovers here. Like Divis Mal, Tremere being gay changes nothing but is interesting.
                                I don't see any LGTBQ-reason for this new fact, but I think it not only gives a nice, further explanation as to why Tremere chose Goratrix to go down - after all, it was much more complicated to go after Goratrix, than choosing one of the inner circle, say Meerlinda -, they had an emotional connection, which made it easier for Tremere to take over Goratrix' body, but it also emphasizes the relationship between Tremere and Goratrix and moreover their mutual betrayal. Goratrix felt let down not only because he saw himself as the natural right hand of Tremere's, as he created Gargoyles, the ritual to become vampires and so on, but also because he saw himself as Tremere's favorite (and not the cowardly, but maybe more loyal, Etrius. With Tremere it's the other way round: His one time lover and second-in-command betrays him to the Sabbat - and therefore deserves to be punished that way. At least, that's how I would read it. [/QUOTE]

                                Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                                All of this stems from the idea that Saulot is actually an asshole, Golconda is a lie, and like 5 or 6 different masterminds are playing the long game. Which, fine, that's the Jyhad but it's WEIRD connections. [...] Too harsh?
                                For me? Yes. I've been a fan of the Saulot-twist since experiencing it "first-hand" as a player almost 20 years ago, so there is some bias there.
                                But moreover, I always liked the twist, that Saulot's orchestrated "suicide" left [the] Tremere as the victim[s] - as I always saw Clan Tremere as one of the two villains of the whole Transylvania-arc - the other one being the Tzimisce - I always liked them being transformed from the uber-magician-vamps to Saulot's plaything, while their leader Tremere was not the big bad self-made-vampire, saint-slayer and tzimisce-blood-thief, but actually an arrogant mage, way over his head.

                                Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                                I hate Evil Saulot and the falsehood of Golconda. Evil Saulot is something that the gameline tried to sell as something shocking and twisting but its twist is, "He's just like the other Antediluvians! He's a meanie!" This is one of those things that I feel like was sold hard and it's not something that really is all that interesting. I think part of is the Antediluvians aren't really characters but "forces" in the world anyway. It doesn't help that the whole premise is not only is Evil Saulot evil but he has to be the absolute EVILEST of all Antediluvians. He's the Demon Emperor of the universe! He terrifies the Wan Kuei/Kuei-Jin! He sired the Baali! It's all part of his evil plan! Ho ho ho!
                                Again, I think that's a matter of personal taste, but I always thought that, if one vampire should be a figure of actual messianic abilities (or even credited as having these abilities), that should be Caine. And I always liked his in-game explanation, that he was pissed at Caine's lies, with him not being the first/only kind of vampire, combined with Saulot's failure to master the ways of the Kui-jin. To me, it was this "betrayal"/failure, that made him pour all his spite/anger at the Baali's creation pit, when returning from the east.

                                Originally posted by The Gentleman Gamer View Post
                                Worth mentioning of course that Saulot is also angelic and pure Saulot in this book. Choose your own adventure.
                                There still is, which you guys have already emphasized, the new ambiguity of Saulot's Po and Hun - which is actually a nice way to deal with the ret-retcon, that was done, when they tried to de-evilize - not actually a word, but I like it :-) - Saulot in Lair of the Hidden and the Gehenna supplement. (Or maybe they just forgot or never read the TC?)
                                Anyway, that's one of the reasons I think the BJD is well thought through - it adresses both major characterizations of Saulot and gives the choice to the reader/ST, to choose whichever one he prefers.

                                Leaving this "battle of opinions" - I actually liked the structure of this chapter, because it gradually delves deeper into the mystery, that you have quite fittingly described as sometimes to complicated and uses different techniques to do that.
                                It starts with a Blood Brother of all people (also a rather intelligent way to feed Beckett information, while simultaneously stealing his body parts), then proceeds to mysteriously killed Tremere antitribu - okay, maybe the CCTV of Tremere's ritual is a little bit too much - than Mahtiels visions give Beckett more to chew on, than actual knowledge, before he finally meets two characters who simply tell him stuff. I agree, that Schrekt - terrible name, by the way - is a little too forthcoming, a mistake he will not make twice when dealing with Beckett, I think. And, apparently, Saulot wanted Beckett to have - and to write down? - all this knowledge.
                                Furthermore, I like that the BJD gives hints - willingly? - to all three major players of the new House(s) of Tremere, Carna, Tremeratrix and now Schrekt.

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