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

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  • I kinda prefer what had been implied in revised with the Lasombra clan founder. That he let himself be killed by Gratiano and the Anarchs to shed his mortal flesh. He believed he could ascend to becoming a god by going to the abyss and taking it over in death. But, the Abyss largely laughed when he arrived and made him just "One of Us". I like the idea the Antideluvians are largely defeatable by Hubris. So in a sense the Lasombra clan founder is dead...assimilated into the Abyss. This lovecraftian alien thing. Kinda like Cappadcious Plan of "Oh Ill just let my childer kill..me ascend to heaven and eat god to replace him!". Which also didn't exactly work out as planned.

    Go into a fist fight with a 3rd gen? You lose. Play to their weaknesses and their hubris? Fall every time hehe. I generally point to the hilarious story of Absmiliard. Dude started the entire Jyhad because Zillah gave him a scar on his face during his embrace. Which makes sense when you consider the life expectancy around the time they were embraced. They kinda are a bunch of teenage vampires at best most likely lol.

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    • I do like the idea that “there’s always a bigger fish” has no exceptions. The Lasomba Antedeluvian was Billy Badass in his mediterranean castle, but there was nothing in his experience that could have prepared him to swim in the same waters as Grandmother, the Neverborn, the literal fallen angels, and whatever the heck else is lurking in the Abyss. He’d have to have adapted quickly in order to avoid becoming a snack for a far more ancient evil.

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      • Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
        Mind you, the Antediluvians are not inclined to swat a buzzing fly.
        I don't mean Beckett survived just being around an Antediluvian. I mean these three each chose to have a personal interaction with Beckett; Good Saulot healed him of his animal traits, Tzimisce apparently rebuilt Beckett like he was a Lego model that someone had dropped, and Malkav got into his head and rearranged the furniture. That is more than just Beckett surviving discovering some members of the 3rd Generation - they each chose him and altered him for some reason.

        Why?

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        • If Saulot, Malkav, and Tzimisce are all childer of Enoch, as depicted in some accounts, they very well may be in cahoots on some level. It would be a hell of a thing if the Genenna War was really a feud between the vampires of the Second Generation, using their Third Generation childer as lieutenants/weapons/pawns.
          At that level of power it ceases to be something that player characters could survive witnessing, let alone impact the outcome in any way, but the idea could serve as a pretext for any number of houseruled metagame shakeups. A lot of this book is like that, modular ideas to plug in if they’re useful and ignore if they’re not.
          My view is that the 2nd Generation of vampires are probably not any more powerful than the Antediluvians on a one-to-one basis. The difference in the power levels between the Antediluvians and other vampires is less about generation more about age. Marcus Vitel is ridiculously powerful compared to other vampires and able to work terrifying miracles with his Disciplines, including Roman Numina. So much so Theo Bell, a team of Archons, and Christof plus 30 ghouls couldn't kill him. An Antediluvian, by contrast, is 13,000 years to his 2,000 years.

          Originally posted by Reasor View Post
          I do like the idea that “there’s always a bigger fish” has no exceptions. The Lasomba Antedeluvian was Billy Badass in his mediterranean castle, but there was nothing in his experience that could have prepared him to swim in the same waters as Grandmother, the Neverborn, the literal fallen angels, and whatever the heck else is lurking in the Abyss. He’d have to have adapted quickly in order to avoid becoming a snack for a far more ancient evil.
          My view of the Antediluvians is they are "theoretically vulnerable."

          In a rare game that an Antediluvian is encountered, when I'm going for "cinematic Marvel universe" vampire, they're plot devices. You can speak with an Antediluvian but there is absolutely nothing you can do to them as a vampire.

          The one exception was a game based on Alan Wake which was for Mage: The Ascension and not Vampire: The Masquerade. I had an entire town turned into Shadow Zombies and it was going to attack New York too when the PCs burned Quintessence, Willpower, and supported each other in using a Correspondence 3/Forces 5 rote to send "The Darkness" into the Sun. Later, I ruled that was the Lasombra Antediluvian and it carried over to our Vampire game because it was just so awesome. That was a 10 year series of campaigns with the same group and multiple characters, though.

          My view is the Antediluvians actually do succeed 99% of the time in their schemes but their schemes are blunted by the other 12 (11? 9?). The Jyhad is, at least in my games, a battle between the Clan founders and all of their various pawns as well as minions. They each have Oracle levels of powers and the ability to effect potentially the whole of humanity (Dominate 10 was used by Ventrue in a game to end the Second Inquisition) but can't override each other. There's also bigger fish than them with the Archdemons and Gods. A vampire, no matter his power level, is still a mortal.

          In Dungeons and Dragons terms, Antediluvians are 30th level wizards. Gods are gods.
          Last edited by CTPhipps; 08-15-2019, 05:39 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
            My own views on the Salubri are they are perfectly fine characters with the Healers being very interesting but they're also characters that should be used very carefully. I have the same view of them that I do about Thin Bloods. Salubri should be generally used as characters the PCs should try to protect at great personal risk to themselves. You might argue that the Salubri don't have a place in a game of personal horror since they're goody-goodies and remove the horror of vampirism but I have the general view that having a little light in the center of the darkness makes the actual evil all the creepier. Basically, the reverse of the usual.
            I've never played in a chronicle where Salubri appeared as PCs or NPCs. Everyone I've played with just don't know what to do with them.

            I think a problem is trying to portray them in a way that potentially would justify everyone's varied opinions about them. That takes a lot more thought which is too much work for a group that is only supposed to number seven.

            If I were to run them, the thing I'd concentrate on is that they're essentially a mystical cult that requires diablerism as a follow up to Golconda. That means they really need to indoctrinate mortals before they select them for the embrace. The idea that the Salubri purposefully damn someone so they can spend the rest of their existence trying to remove that curse, only to end their life afterwards by damning someone else is just weird. They obviously have to have reasons for doing that, but they're ones that probably don't make sense outside their weird Golconda-diablerie cult.

            For some reason, I'm inspired by the group Daredevil's mentor Stick belonged to which fought the Hand. They must have some secret agenda and are sticking around for a reason. Maybe a reason given to them by Saulot somehow.

            That the Salubri number seven, and that seven is a mystic number to the Tremere who organized themselves on that basis is something that did not escape me. Especially since we knew Saulot was hiding in Tremere's body.

            And I like the old Tremere clan Flaw that gave your Tremere a Third Eye.

            I don't know how I should combine these things, but I think there's a recipe somewhere that would lead to something I can use.

            The big appeal for me in this chapter is actually Rebekah's statement about Golconda as a 12-step program and sobriety. I mentioned I really like this but if they could reverse Golconda to being almost a religion or lifestyle of "Do No Harm" that doesn't necessarily come with mystical perfection then I think it becomes a lot more useful in game.
            The reduction of Golcona to a 12 step program is hilarious, but I imagine a lot of false Golconda achievers/conmen do this. It fits in a materialistic age that has lost its sense of transcendence. I'm going to steal this. But Golconda to me is like someone achieving Nirvana. I like it like that something very mystical, but actually real.

            I've always liked the Warrior Salubri but I don't think they particularly fit into the Sabbat. Really, I think they fit more like what the Children of Osiris in THE HUNTERS HUNTED were implied to be but didn't really fit. If you had a Salubri of the Warrior caste show up, they were probably there to murder you and burn you at the stake as a monster. Basically, I have occasionally used the Warrior Salubri as the VII organization from Vampire: The Requiem. They're vampires who kill other vampires to protect mortals--something I think the Web of Knives have kind of moved away from.
            The Salubri anti-tribu never made any sense to me. Since the antitribu necessarily had to be people who were just embraced, how exactly do you convince someone who's been a vampire for only a short amount of time to wage war against an enemy they've never encountered before? It's one of those things that might seem cool at first glance from a story perspective, but hard to justify in any kind of real way people act.

            I don't think vampires of a normal bent can be "good" but I also don't think you need to make every campaign as dark and monstrous as possible either. There's varieties of gamestyles after all with LA BY NIGHT by Jason Carl being one of the lighter and softer FOREVER KNIGHT or ANGEL-esque games while others go full NEAR DARK. I think its perfectly permissible to have vampires who are anti-heroes and attempt to use their powers for "good" even if it's largely doomed and/or pointless. The tortured vampire is the most interesting vampire. It's why I approve of Touchstones because they do give the Gamemaster something good in their lives to care about even if the vampire's relationship with them is unhealthy.
            I've never had a problem with a vampire struggling to be moral while dealing with the curse. It's when characters ignore the moral dilemma entirely for superhero action sequences that annoyed me. Those are entirely different things. I think the longer a vampire survives, the more likely a vampire is to decline in their Humanity so there is a limited run. But for the timespan of the typical chronicle, it's not a big issue.

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            • RE: Illias

              I prefer the idea that the Eldest absorbed him, during his "death" in the Dark Ages, and kept Illias rattling around in their collective consciousness. Then, when recent events caused the Eldest to "consider some things" and confer with their "siblings", they detached the Illias part of themself and placed that fragment into a newly flesh-crafted body. The Eldest is still connected with "Illias" (whether it's literally the old consciousness or a recreation of the man's personality is anyone's guess), in the sense that everyone who has tasted Tzimisce blood is connected to the Eldest, but Illias is allowed to operate somewhat independently.


              RE: Lumbach Ruthven

              If we assume that the Eldest has a bit of a Collective Consciousness thing going on, it puts Ruthven's "I am not a slave" line in a different context. He's not a slave, in much the way that no one the Eldest has absorbed is "enslaved". One's arm isn't really the slave of one's brain, after all.

              He's a part of the Eldest, and shouldn't feel bad about being used. Or at least that's what either the Eldest tells him or Ruthven tells himself.


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              • Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post
                I don't mean Beckett survived just being around an Antediluvian. I mean these three each chose to have a personal interaction with Beckett; Good Saulot healed him of his animal traits, Tzimisce apparently rebuilt Beckett like he was a Lego model that someone had dropped, and Malkav got into his head and rearranged the furniture. That is more than just Beckett surviving discovering some members of the 3rd Generation - they each chose him and altered him for some reason.
                Well Saulot heals people, I believe Illias when he says the Eldest wasn't there, and Malkav just does what he does. I don't think there's a plan here as Beckett stumbling around being horrifyingly mutiliated is pretty much what happens to Beckett as a rule.

                And yet he never learns.

                Originally posted by Black Fox
                If I were to run them, the thing I'd concentrate on is that they're essentially a mystical cult that requires diablerism as a follow up to Golconda. That means they really need to indoctrinate mortals before they select them for the embrace. The idea that the Salubri purposefully damn someone so they can spend the rest of their existence trying to remove that curse, only to end their life afterwards by damning someone else is just weird. They obviously have to have reasons for doing that, but they're ones that probably don't make sense outside their weird Golconda-diablerie cult.
                One thing that I actually linked the Seven "Suicidal Salubri" to was the Albigensian and Gnostic vampires who we know have a lot of ties to the Cainite heresy, the Followers of Set, plus the Path of Cathar. Basically, my Salubri of the 7 believe that they are atoning for the sins of vampirekind with the actions of their iddy biddy sect but the world is fundamentally sinful as a whole, so the only way to escape it is die to return back into the Heavens and greater world post-mortem. They don't want their power to leave, though, so they allow themselves to diablerized afterward.

                Notably, in my games, this sect was considered completely fucking nuts by other Salubri. Particularly the ones of the Ashirra who, unlike the Gnostics, believed suicide was a mortal sin. The Suicidal Salubri just pointed to Saulot to reveal that it all had to serve a greater purpose. In truth, of course, it wasted countless mystical secrets and people who could have helped Kindred as a whole achieve Golconda even if their selflessness meant they achieved it easier than others.

                Originally posted by Black Fox
                The reduction of Golcona to a 12 step program is hilarious, but I imagine a lot of false Golconda achievers/conmen do this. It fits in a materialistic age that has lost its sense of transcendence. I'm going to steal this. But Golconda to me is like someone achieving Nirvana. I like it like that something very mystical, but actually real.
                Perhaps but the irony may be that Kindred expect something overtly supernatural when the state of not wanting and control should have been considered the achievement itself.

                Originally posted by Black Fox
                The Salubri anti-tribu never made any sense to me. Since the antitribu necessarily had to be people who were just embraced, how exactly do you convince someone who's been a vampire for only a short amount of time to wage war against an enemy they've never encountered before? It's one of those things that might seem cool at first glance from a story perspective, but hard to justify in any kind of real way people act.
                I've made this complaint myself but it's basically not one that works very well in V:TM because the Salubri Antitribu would be one of many rather than something rare. The Sabbat shovelheads, the Assamite web of knives, and the Followers of Set are all predicated that when you're Embraced you're in a bit of a life-changing moment and potentially easily indoctrinated to a new ideology. In the Sabbat's case, it's helped along with the Vinculum and i'm sure other Clans use Presence or Dominate to at least get the ball rolling.

                When I did use my Salubri Antitribu I stated they tended to recruit from reactionary Christian fundamentalists and people desperately looking for a purpose in life that would almost enjoy having their fury at the world unleashed.

                I'm now envisioning an evangelical summer camp of vampires.

                Originally posted by Black Fox
                I've never had a problem with a vampire struggling to be moral while dealing with the curse. It's when characters ignore the moral dilemma entirely for superhero action sequences that annoyed me. Those are entirely different things. I think the longer a vampire survives, the more likely a vampire is to decline in their Humanity so there is a limited run. But for the timespan of the typical chronicle, it's not a big issue.
                My current view of vampire is that most vampires are about 6-7 when they're Neonates and then become 4 or 5 for most Ancilla and Elders. I also state that for all people assume that Kindred go one way down, in fact most Kindred actually go up and down the humanity scale a lot in their lifetimes as they have spiritual crises and try to atone for awhile or have something that re-awakens their love of others. Most vampires will die before they hit wassail and the majority that do tend to be either Sabbat (who just stake them then move on), Kindred cannibals, or just can't ever get ahold on the Beast or the Hunger.

                It's not even a matter of being an intellectual serial killer like Son or Vykos used to be, it's the fact that they have weak personalities unable to control their addiction or the Beast.

                Originally posted by Bluecho View Post
                I prefer the idea that the Eldest absorbed him, during his "death" in the Dark Ages, and kept Illias rattling around in their collective consciousness. Then, when recent events caused the Eldest to "consider some things" and confer with their "siblings", they detached the Illias part of themself and placed that fragment into a newly flesh-crafted body. The Eldest is still connected with "Illias" (whether it's literally the old consciousness or a recreation of the man's personality is anyone's guess), in the sense that everyone who has tasted Tzimisce blood is connected to the Eldest, but Illias is allowed to operate somewhat independently.
                I, too, am going with the fact the Tzimisce Antediluvian can and does absorb people and then can pop them back out when he wants--potentially totally insane or their minds with perfect reproductions of who they were while alive. In effect, the Tzimisce Antediluvian can "resurrect" anyone it has diablerized of its thousands of victim over the years. Because the people he has absorbed have never actually died-died.

                I had something similar with the Malkavian antediluvian in the fact that the Cobweb is the "Cloud" for all of the Malkavians ever Embraced so that barring someone being diablerized (and not even then), they can be talked to via mystical rituals or dreams. Plus, potentially even possess other Malkavians. I used it as a justifciation to do Dark Ages and Pirate Memorium.

                If we assume that the Eldest has a bit of a Collective Consciousness thing going on, it puts Ruthven's "I am not a slave" line in a different context. He's not a slave, in much the way that no one the Eldest has absorbed is "enslaved". One's arm isn't really the slave of one's brain, after all.

                He's a part of the Eldest, and shouldn't feel bad about being used. Or at least that's what either the Eldest tells him or Ruthven tells himself.
                I kind of like the idea that as an alien and monstrous as the Tzimisce-Shoggoth is, it's actually just trying to be nice to its favored/pet slave. Lambach is a 5th generation Methuselah and a monster but compared to the Eldest, he's just a ghoul.

                Like some Ghoul Owners, he tries to be "nice" but their relationship is inherently sanity blasting for the ghoul.
                Last edited by CTPhipps; 08-15-2019, 04:16 AM.


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

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                • This chapter suffers a bit in terms of while nominally being set in New York City it spends almost no time in the city. It is about the Tzimisce monsters, and what happens when Beckett’s player rolled a lot of botches on an intelligence check. This is a bit of a pity, because there is a lot too New York City.



                  This chapter feels like the tone was lifted from the Call of Cthulhu. For example, the graveyard, the decaying hospital, the murky and mucky tunnels underground, the attacks by unseen creatures. Adding to the idea this chapter is like something from the CoC is the passages of terrible knowledge written on skin – in this case Beckett’s own skin. So what if the angry tentacle monster spend the chapter off screen?

                  CTPhipps has compared a possible outcome of the Tzimisce sleeping under New York the ending of a Final Fantasy Game. I know others have compared it to Undead Godzilla goes on a rampage. For me it should be dreadful and low key – the same way I would rework the Giovanni attempt to kill Gary. I would take inspiration from a source different than Final Fantasy, a Resident Evil boss, or a kiju flick.

                  I would take the mood and tone from the recent HBO series Chernobyl.



                  Except in this case – the Tzimisce and New York – there can be no evacuation. There is no hope of plugging the hole in the broken open reactor. The entire city is hopelessly compromised by an invisible death and there is nothing you can do about it, except possibly run away. If you are very lucky. (For added misery the people in the HBO show suffering for severe radiation sickness look like they were screwed over by Vicissitude.) But this take means that having the Monster down below the city cannot be at all loud or showy. Instead it is entirely about the compromises the PCs will make to ensure their own survival. Equally, any number of elder vampires might now about the Founder, but be bound by their own need to maintain a lie. Such as Sabbat elders maintaining the lie of the destruction of the Founder, when they know this is not true.

                  Anyone (i.e. the PCs) who becomes aware of the situation might well be roped into keeping the Eldest fed to keep it from awakening. Lambatch used to do that job, but he would rather run off to an island run by an elder Baali because that is still a better deal than hanging around Times Square. So now, hypothetically, the PC are asked to arrange for busloads of people and vampires to be fed the monster. This goes with the realization that the Eldest might just be fucking with you, the sacrifices are only compromising your soul and accomplishing nothing else. It does not need to feed in that manner. In this sense is it also rather like Midnight Meat Train. Granted, the Founder having departed makes such a story a moot point. But it was a possibility.

                  There are several statements about the Founder which are deeply interesting. One is that it does not want to be alone – which it an interesting way to describe the creature. Until that statement, assuming it is true, it was reasonable to just think the Founder was eating everyone and everything like the Blob. Basically, because it was hungry rather than because it was lonely.

                  Secondly, is that it had been lost but is no longer and is now seeking its siblings. This manages to be both vague and insightful – and frightening.

                  In terms of the timeline, all the vents happen in a single span of time. It probably also happens before Beckett’s adventures in Carthage – Ecaterina and Christof are still respected members of the local vampire community because Ecaterina has not been outed as formally Sabbat.

                  I do not understand why Illias would fix Beckett from an in-character perspective. From an out of character perspective fixing Beckett allows the story to keep going. But from an in character perspective it does not make sense.

                  Lastly, the chapter is titled Azhi Dahaka - Azhi Dahaka is the name of an evil, even devlil-like, figure in ancient Persian mythology. It is also the title of the final stage of the Path of Metamorphosis.
                  Last edited by Grumpy RPG Reviews; 08-16-2019, 01:54 AM. Reason: I did for Illias after he fixed my bald spot.

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                  • Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                    Notably, in my games, this sect was considered completely fucking nuts by other Salubri. Particularly the ones of the Ashirra who, unlike the Gnostics, believed suicide was a mortal sin. The Suicidal Salubri just pointed to Saulot to reveal that it all had to serve a greater purpose. In truth, of course, it wasted countless mystical secrets and people who could have helped Kindred as a whole achieve Golconda even if their selflessness meant they achieved it easier than others.
                    This, I agree with. I imagine most Salubri - including those Elders that survived since the Diablerie of Saulot - consider the Seven to be extremists. Regardless of whether a Salubri thinks the Seven "have a point", they go farther in service to their philosophy than most Salubri are willing to. They just aren't ready to commit to the kind of Jyhad Win Condition that involves killing oneself.

                    Though I suppose it's "worked" for multiple Antedeluvians, so maybe the Seven are onto something. Most Salubri, understandably, are hesitant to find out.

                    Hardly numerous - except maybe the Antitribu - the Salubri's first goal is to survive in a world that hates and fears them. What else the Salubri wants depends on the individual, as well as to the "caste", for lack of a better term. While the ability to survive and avoid notice is prized among Salubri sires, like begets like (or, in the case of vampires, selects for like). Healers look for those who are down with healing, Warriors want those who can wage war, Watchers find those who can study (or steal) knowledge. If Golconda is on their minds, it's an individual concern, and one that might be pursued in a manner different than what the Seven do. If only because they'd prefer to unlive in their Golcondan state.

                    Still, the Seven are the most (in)famous, making them both sources of potential insight into Golconda, and as targets that can draw attention away from Salubri who just want to keep on keeping on.


                    I've made this complaint myself but it's basically not one that works very well in V:TM because the Salubri Antitribu would be one of many rather than something rare. The Sabbat shovelheads, the Assamite web of knives, and the Followers of Set are all predicated that when you're Embraced you're in a bit of a life-changing moment and potentially easily indoctrinated to a new ideology. In the Sabbat's case, it's helped along with the Vinculum and i'm sure other Clans use Presence or Dominate to at least get the ball rolling.

                    When I did use my Salubri Antitribu I stated they tended to recruit from reactionary Christian fundamentalists and people desperately looking for a purpose in life that would almost enjoy having their fury at the world unleashed.

                    I'm now envisioning an evangelical summer camp of vampires.
                    It's also worth remembering that if your sire and their immediate relatives are the only ones telling you how the vampiric world works, that'll tend to skew your perception of the Jyhad. The vampire world does not see childer getting a comprehensive crash course about the different Cainite societies and their respective philosophies and political stances. Barring outside influence, a fledgling has only their Sire/Mentor to guide them in the ways of the world. Telling them what to believe, who is friend, who is foe, and what the ultimate goal/purpose of vampires is.

                    Is it any wonder, then, that when you're Embraced by latter-day Templar Knights, who tell you that they alone stay true to Caine and the vampiric saint Saulot against the wicked Antedeluvians and their selfish progeny, you'd turn out just slightly militant? Not to mention you, yourself, need to go around beating people up, just to feed, because that's what your bloodline requires.

                    I had something similar with the Malkavian antediluvian in the fact that the Cobweb is the "Cloud" for all of the Malkavians ever Embraced so that barring someone being diablerized (and not even then), they can be talked to via mystical rituals or dreams. Plus, potentially even possess other Malkavians. I used it as a justifciation to do Dark Ages and Pirate Memorium.
                    Reminds me of my old "Malkavian Sorcery" idea. Where some Malkavian occultists will develop Blood Magic through the connection of the Cobweb. Some don't even realize they've learned it, or acknowledge that it's anything but a neat trick they just know how to do.

                    It's entirely possible, of course, that potent Malkavian sorcerers might persist after Final Death, in whole or in part, on the Malkavian Madness Network. Keeping abreast of mystical secrets the Clan learns, and whispering arcane knowledge in the ear of promising young Kooks. At the very least, it's justification to buy a few dots in Mentor, along with out-of-Clan dots in Thaumaturgy (or rather Malkavian Sorcery, which is its own eclectic magical style, comprehensible only to the mad).


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                    • Well, no point delaying. It'll be done when it's done.

                      Chapter Twenty-Three: The Madness of Jerusalem

                      Beckett has had his plane destroyed, his line of credit from Vitel expended (I'm of the mind that even Vitel is getting annoyed by Beckett's spending), and most of his friendships destroyed. It's then that Anatole is Beckoned to Jerusalem. I'm 90% sure this was written before V5 but I'm going to state that it's just flat out the Beckoning since there's no reason for it not to be and shows that things other than "fight Sabbat, get diablerized" can happen.

                      Later, we find out Anatole also sabotaged Beckett's plane and was the one who drove him to Jerusalem.
                      Beckett describes Jerusalem as a place where the Ashirra and Camarilla regularly clash but also make peace, which sounds to me just like every single Vampire: The Masquerade city ever. Vampires war on each other and then smile fakely the next evening. The Sabbat aren't welcome in Jerusalem (no shit, really), but the truth faithful among them use it as a staging ground for the Gehenna Crusade.



                      I've always been amused by the fact it seems a good chunk of the Sabbat don't realize a lot of their religious trappings are ironic. It's like the Church of Satan in The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, of all things, in that it's fallen into a lot of pseudo-Catholic habits even though it is built around being its antithesis. Okay, weird digression over from a Catholic who left for Protestantism.
                      We get a clipping that talks about a former Orthodox educator stabbing a student. Jerusalem is basically described as frequently subject to waves of madness and violence. Also, Hamas is mentioned as having still carried out a series of attacks in the city. My assumption is in the World of Darkness that the terrorist attacks and reprisals of the 80s and early 90s are still going on in Israel. Either that or it's just a bad cover-up by Kindred of a vampire going nuts.

                      Beckett praises Jerusalem but talks about how it's a city drenched in blood. Lucita also makes a snide remark about faith being "the best of mankind." Like I said, I really wish we got more books about Lucita and Anatole (or Lucita and Fatima--or hell, all three as vampires can be polygamous). It seems Lucita has a type in deeply religious vampires while being stridently anti-clerical herself. That's what the Reconquista will do to you.

                      Apparently, the Malkavians of Jerusalem are fucked. Over 30 of them have visited the city in the past month and lot of them committed mass suicide. I have a theory that Beckoned Kindred can feed Antediluvians without actually being eaten--like Kuei-Jin/Wan Kuei they can feed off the life itself or maybe just the violence. However, some vampires burned themselves to death by going into the Dome of the Rock--I'm not sure whether it was during daytime, they immolated themselves with gasoline, or going into the Dome of the Rock will cause them to burn to death by itself. Note: It's later confirmed they commited suicide by True Faith--hardcore.

                      Oddly enough, none of this is weird in real life. Jerusalem Syndrome where people are so overwhelmed by the city of God that they start thinking its the apocalypse, believe themselves to be Christ, or other delusions -- usually delusions -- happen all the time. I'm surprised Jerusalem is not a regular place for Kindred to go and commit suicide or go on a vampire killing spree.
                      Beckett goes to investigate an archaeological dig site and ends up getting caught by Malkav. Beckett recovers, hears the words Tal'Mah'Ra and Malakai before deciding AGAIN to visit a pit containing an Antediluvian. Yes, sir, he is aware of his plot armor--or just that stupid. He meets Anatole down there, who is apparently now Malkav's hand puppet and tells him that the Tal'Ma'ra are not welcome down here. Which nicely states, straight up, they are not working for the Anteduluvians.

                      I'm a believer in the Aralu=Baali theory.
                      The Kindred around Jerusalem discuss on chats that the Camarilla should murder every Kindred in the city to cover up the Masquerade, which results in some immediate problems as one of them is an ex-Justicar and the people are freaked out by the realization the plan is serious.

                      Beckett wakes up from yet another bout of madness, possessed by Malkav (poor guy), and Makav tells the Tal'Mah'Ra to fuck off. He's rescued then by Serenna who basically is Anti-Lucita in almost all ways but being a badass action girl. She's basically a snarky, cheerful, and wears white versus Lucita's black--also a Salubri. She interrogates Beckett in a holy place and Beckett is almost killed because they think he's a Baali. However, he speaks for Malkav and says that the Antediluvian is joining his children's brain.



                      Serenna is a member of the Edenic Order of Groundskeepers, even though that is controlled by the Black Hand but apparently not very well. Indeed, part of the book is that the True Hand doesn't have nearly the control they used to over both the False Hand and the Groundskeepers.

                      Serenna has an interesting conversation with Beckett where she talks about the idea that Ashura is actually a name for a Antedulivian that has succumbed to Wightdom and that they've all hit that a few times in their lifetime, only to get pulled back by either their childer or their fellow Antediluvians. She basically states, "Which Antediluvian Embraced the Baali?" is actually a pointless question because to her all of the Antediluvians are monsters and not really worth saving (but her statement actually indicates they're redeemable-ish). This reminds me of the fact the Baali used to have a founder of every Clan versus just four.

                      Finally, it just ends with explaining there's 7 Salubri in the Ashirra territories protected from the Tremere but they're distinct from the Salubri who are diablerist cultists. Also, there's more Salubri elsewhere. Serenna's write-up reveals she's a former Persian feminist (which was easier before the Revolution--and not as hard in Iran in other Middle Eastern countries) before being Embraced. She's portrayed as a blonde and buxom young woman who loves cats.

                      Beckett then leaves, angry at Anatole's behavior.

                      Adventures

                      Poor Anatole has largely ruined his friendship with Beckett, though I think this book overstates matters I think. While Beckett is said to feel immensely betrayed, it seems pretty clear that he wasn't entirely of his own free will during that. One of the things I believe all vampires would be familiar with by the first hundred years of their life or so is that your will is not entirely your own. Dominate, Presence, the Blood Bond, and various other forms of domination means that every vampire will betray each other under the right circumstances.

                      I like the possibility of the Malkvian Antediluvian's location being fairly well known and a bunch of Kindred trying to figure out what to do with it--unaware that he's a being that can easily defend himself from any attacks. The Edenic Groundskeepers think they can destroy the Antediluvian while it is in torpor like the Sabbat while the Black Hand believes they can revere it--unable they have no need for worshipers (or at least Malkav doesn't).

                      The idea of the Malkavians being summoned to Jerusalem to drink of his blood and SOMETHING happens is a thing I hope future supplements follow up on--but I'm not sure what a good change to the Malkavians should be. Maybe all of them having some access to the Cobweb and possibly gaining precognitive Auspex abilities.

                      I think it'd be more interesting to redo the Malkavians yet again in the V5 Player's Guide. I think there could be more groups and organization in the Clan to make it more interesting to play. You could have the Seers, you could have the Conspiracy Theorists (who are more often right), the Malkavians who seek to treat their madness, Malkavian Jyhad players, and others that just goes beyond "We're a bunch of individual weirdos and broken individuals." Basically, more clan culture and organization.

                      Thoughts

                      This is probably my favorite chapter in the book save, maybe, the Sabbat Civil War. I am unhealthily fond of the Malkavians and I have long felt they needed their own update. I'm a big fan of the Malkavian Madness Network and feel like he's a somewhat underrated Antediluvian for Jyhad plots.

                      Jerusalem is a place I've often used as background in my games but I've never actually had show up on camera. It is a fascinating place to speculate on Kindred history and if you're going to do a Indiana Beckett or DaLaurent Code game then it's probably the best city to do a Noddist game. I can easily see a plot where you recover the Dead Sea Scrolls version of the Book of Nod and have to steal the resulting books from a Museum or other Kindred.

                      Honestly, I do feel the "Jerusalem is a city of blood and madness" to be in a bit of poor taste and not really all that accurate. The epicenter of the Palestianian conflict has since moved from Jerusalem to, well, Palestine. However, as mentioned above, I think it's quite possible that the World of Darkness version of Jerusalem is every bit as violent as it was during the Worst of TimesTM (not including the First Crusade--hard to top that one).

                      I enjoyed the conflict between the Edenic Groundskeepers and the True Hand, though I wonder why it keeps saying they control them when they seem to be having a lot of...well, not control. It's funny as it removes a lot of the sheen of their omniscience when their own satellite organizations are kicking their ass.

                      I'm interested in who exactly Malkav's sister is as I'm not sure if it means a literal sister from mortal life, a fellow Antediluvian, or both.

                      I really like the character of Serenna and think she's probably my favorite character from this book. I may use her in an upcoming game.
                      Last edited by CTPhipps; 08-16-2019, 02:34 AM.


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

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                      • Malakai appeared in The Black Hand: A Guide to the Tal'Mahe'Ra and Gehenna. I can't remember if she showed up anywhere else.

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                        • Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                          It's then that Anatole is Beckoned to Jerusalem. I'm 90% sure this was written before V5 but I'm going to state that it's just flat out the Beckoning since there's no reason for it not to be.
                          Actually, the Beckoning is first mentioned in "Shadow Coalesce" and then in "London Calling", and in the kickstarter google version it was mentioned in the "Carna Rebellion", so it always was a part of BJD.

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                          • Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                            Poor Anatole has largely ruined his friendship with Beckett, though I think this book overstates matters I think. While Beckett is said to feel immensely betrayed, it seems pretty clear that he wasn't entirely of his own free will during that. One of the things I believe all vampires would be familiar with by the first hundred years of their life or so is that your will is not entirely your own. Dominate, Presence, the Blood Bond, and various other forms of domination means that every vampire will betray each other under the right circumstances.
                            While I agree with the part about lack of free will in the life of any vampire, Anatol in his letter speaks of his actions as independent, and although he may be wrong, it will still affect Beckett. This letter is my favorite part of the book.

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                            • Originally posted by Jargal View Post

                              Actually, the Beckoning is first mentioned in "Shadow Coalesce" and then in "London Calling", and in the kickstarter google version it was mentioned in the "Carna Rebellion", so it always was a part of BJD.
                              I mean in the literal writing sense, assuming that V5 came up with the Beckoning and the Good People at Onyx PathTM decided to add elements of it to BJD later on. I could be totally off base, though. They could have come up with the concept first for all I knew. I do appreciate that the people at OPP were willing to work to make the transition as seamless as possible and it really shows in their efforts.

                              Originally posted by Jargal View Post

                              While I agree with the part about lack of free will in the life of any vampire, Anatol in his letter speaks of his actions as independent, and although he may be wrong, it will still affect Beckett. This letter is my favorite part of the book.
                              Rationalization -- it's a dick power.

                              Originally posted by Stannis View Post
                              Malakai appeared in The Black Hand: A Guide to the Tal'Mahe'Ra and Gehenna. I can't remember if she showed up anywhere else.
                              Thanks for the info!
                              Last edited by CTPhipps; 08-16-2019, 08:46 AM.


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

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                              the Contact Us link.

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                              • Malakai shows up in the Gehenna Book in the Fair is Foul section, page 101. She is one of the 6 Antediluvians Loyal to Lilith. I also like to think the Six are the founders for the Laibon Legacy's in Kindred o the Ebony Kingdom, but thats a personal preference.

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