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[V5]Thoughts on Vienna

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Shawarbaaz View Post
    Or maybe, MAYBE, vampires aren't as omnipotent as we think they are and *gasp* they are completely vulnerable to squads of highly trained and extremely well-prepared mortals who studied every single weakness and advantage that vampires had, not to mention that the attack happened during the day.
    I'm not arguing against that. As I wrote, none of the schemers get what they want and things always spiral out of the control of the schemers. No one is really controlling the SI. Someone might have thought they could, or that Vienna could be managed. But the well armed, well trained, humans were not messing around and were not controlled - and still are not controlled. The humans are exploiting the arrogant complacency of the vampires.

    Actually, Goratrix put something similar in motion when he set the First Inquisition in motion. He thought he could control it - he was wrong.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Kammerer View Post
      That is by far the most improbable part of the whole thing.
      I second this. The SI taking out the Vienna Chantry (esp. with some sort of help from any of the enumerated parties mentioned in the thread).. a reach but OK, hardly the least probably thing in the WoD's history. A drone strike in Europe being successfully covered up and blamed on ISIS by the side without Dominate/etc.? Yeah...no... You have to put this on the Technocracy as the only organization in the WoD that could actually do that.

      Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
      ISIS is stated to have been blamed for the incident.
      Which is... just bad research. ISIS barely existed at that point in time. The first ISIS linked terrorist attack outside of the Middle East happened six years after the Vienna Chantry was taken down by the SI.

      1. It wasn't the USA, the Second Inquisition includes the EU
      Well, it basically had to be the US doing the drone strikes, because at the time, the US and the UK were the only countries operating armed drones in Europe, and the UK had all of ten of them that they'd bought from the US.

      Covering this up even if the EU and Austrian governments were on board is also nearly impossible. The drones used for these sorts of strikes are easily detected on radar, and are transmitting signals. Multiple civilian air traffic control towers would have recorded the drones' flight path... and that's assuming the drones were launched near Vienna despite not normally being stationed there (again, things are years off from when things would make sense, as US armed drones weren't stationed in Europe at the time, so the US would have had to launch from the Middle East or Africa, crossing even more air space and thus even more evidence of it happening).

      So, there were at least a hundred witnesses to the drones flying to Vienna right at the time of the strike, who aren't part of intelligence services let alone the SI, while the attack was blamed on what was, at the time, a tiny violent militia group that only had power in three towns in Iraq that the vast majority of people had never heard of.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
        So, there were at least a hundred witnesses to the drones flying to Vienna right at the time of the strike, who aren't part of intelligence services let alone the SI, while the attack was blamed on what was, at the time, a tiny violent militia group that only had power in three towns in Iraq that the vast majority of people had never heard of.
        Bluntly, this is asking the World of Darkness to be identical to the quote-unquote real world except for the addition of vampires. That's simply not true and I think would be bad storytelling. It's 99% similar but that 1% is pretty damn big in terms of more terrorists, more pollution, more cynicism, more violence, and more apathy. One element of V:TDA I always liked was the statement that huge mammoth castles weren't a thing in Transylvania in the RL 1200s but absolutely were in the TDA.

        Who would you publicly blame the attack on if you were the Austrian government covering up vampires?

        So, there were at least a hundred witnesses to the drones flying to Vienna right at the time of the strike, who aren't part of intelligence services let alone the SI, while the attack was blamed on what was, at the time, a tiny violent militia group that only had power in three towns in Iraq that the vast majority of people had never heard of.
        How exactly did those witnesses react to the literal thousands of vampires, ghouls, and monsters going in and out of the place beforehand? Who did the Austrian government think owned this historical monument that was constantly being visited by robed figures and people regularly disappeared from the surrounding area of.

        And the idea the damage was done by terrorists is less probable? Especially since, again, it's almost certainly the case the Austrian government was read in?
        Last edited by CTPhipps; 08-09-2019, 06:49 PM.


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

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        • #19
          For one thing, there are a range of UAVs (or Unmanned Air Vehicles, i.e. drones), running from a large RQ-4 Global Hawk to the much smaller RQ-11 Raven. The Raven is also employed by multiple nations at this point, and can be modified. Given Vienna is a densely populated city, and the attack involved the Austrian government, the SI likely used something that would allow to get close to a "surgical strike." For another, it could have been an improvised drone weapon - one such weapon was used to take out the sniper in the 2016 Dallas Police Officer shootings.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post
            For one thing, there are a range of UAVs (or Unmanned Air Vehicles, i.e. drones), running from a large RQ-4 Global Hawk to the much smaller RQ-11 Raven. The Raven is also employed by multiple nations at this point, and can be modified. Given Vienna is a densely populated city, and the attack involved the Austrian government, the SI likely used something that would allow to get close to a "surgical strike." For another, it could have been an improvised drone weapon - one such weapon was used to take out the sniper in the 2016 Dallas Police Officer shootings.
            I'm fairly sure the Austrian government did it with the aid of NATO forces and the Society of Leopold. Assuming the SI is an American institution misses that its biggest achievements are outside of the USA.

            Mind you, the Camarilla book actually details it to an extent. There's a bunch of dead-eyed villagers and slaves outside the Castle (which isn't in Vienna proper it seems) that seem horrified at what happened, which I believe are implied to be Tremere slaves.


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

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            • #21
              Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
              Bluntly, this is asking the World of Darkness to be identical to the quote-unquote real world except for the addition of vampires.
              Not really? It's expecting maybe an hour's worth of research on readily available resources on the Internet. The Vienna strike happened while Al-Qaeda was still terrorist organization #1 in public perception. Literally just switching from ISIS to Al-Qaeda would be leaps and bounds more believable as a cover up alone.

              The thing about this, is the J-curve of technology means if you want to keep the "dark reflection of our world" concept intact, you have to be pickier the closer to "now" you get if you want to maintain suspension of disbelief. The advances in armed drones in the past decade is about the same amount of change as fighter aircraft for the whole second half of the 20th century.

              We're also more aware of things that happen in our life time.

              It's bad story to just demand the reader suspends disbelief because you're not going to put in the work to make sure your story is coherent.

              Who would you publicly blame the attack on if you were the Austrian government covering up vampires?
              First, as noted, Al-Qaeda was a painfully easy answer just sitting there.

              Second, all these intelligence agencies would have known a painfully simple tactic to pull off to make this much easier to cover up: truck bombs (tactics used by said terrorist groups IRL too). If you need to explode something in a major city and blame it on terrorists? Don't use cutting edge military tech. Do what terrorists do, use low tech options.

              How exactly did those witnesses react to the literal thousands of vampires, ghouls, and monsters going in and out of the place beforehand?
              Um, those witnesses wouldn't have seen that because they're air traffic control staff that see planes and UAVs flying around, not what's happening on the ground.

              The problem from the coherent side of things here, is that you're expecting the civilian ATC staff of multiple installations in multiple countries to have all either miss that drones flew over Vienna at the exact same time a "terrorist" attack happened, or none of them said anything about the giant hole in the official story of a terrorist attack when there's civilian controlled evidence that would show the drones entire flight path.

              Did the SI frame the terrorists for having drones that were, again, so advanced only one European country even had any yet? When in 2019 no terrorist group has managed to do better than civilian drones and strapping explosives to them?

              Who did the Austrian government think owned this historical monument that was constantly being visited by robed figures and people regularly disappeared from the surrounding area of.
              Isn't the whole point of the SI plotline to demonstrate that the vampires thought they have mortal governments in their control, but it finally backfired? That the government always "knew" on some level but vampires were using Disciplines and normal corruption to keep them in line up until the dam finally burst?

              And the idea the damage was done by terrorists is less probable?
              No, they idea of covering up a government action as detailed in the books as a terrorist attack is less probable than vampires corrupting politicians (including using magic powers) into helping them keep their secrets.


              Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post
              For one thing, there are a range of UAVs (or Unmanned Air Vehicles, i.e. drones), running from a large RQ-4 Global Hawk to the much smaller RQ-11 Raven. The Raven is also employed by multiple nations at this point, and can be modified. Given Vienna is a densely populated city, and the attack involved the Austrian government, the SI likely used something that would allow to get close to a "surgical strike." For another, it could have been an improvised drone weapon - one such weapon was used to take out the sniper in the 2016 Dallas Police Officer shootings.
              The fall of the Vienna Chantry was in 2008. What we can do over a decade latter isn't entirely on point.

              And even so, the majority of military drones as super simple to spot on civilian radar, which means you can't just fly drones over Europe without civilians noticing. Well unless you're the Technocracy.

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              • #22
                Fair enough.

                I do think that the Austrian government would probably know and helped in the fight.

                Al-Qaeda is a better choice, you're right.


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

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Shawarbaaz View Post
                  Or maybe, MAYBE, vampires aren't as omnipotent as we think they are and *gasp* they are completely vulnerable to squads of highly trained and extremely well-prepared mortals who studied every single weakness and advantage that vampires had, not to mention that the attack happened during the day.
                  I mean this is definitely what happened; the question is closer to "did they have an agent on the inside?" imo. I imagine the SI being happy to use vampires against each other, and if Karl Schrekt (as an example) said "hey if you want to take out a bigger threat, I can tell you exactly where and when they're most vulnerable", they'd be more than happy to accept that hint.

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                  • #24
                    I'll guess that Marc Krieger got his revenge. I'm using the V5 prologue for a chronicle in Vienna.

                    There are power players involved in Vienna:
                    Tremere/Saulot's P'o/The Eldest (who knows their agenda...)
                    Valerianus, Ventrue methuselah and Inconnu
                    Karl Schrekt is mentioned in the Red Death trilogy to be in Linz, but that's just the third most populated city in Austria and it's not that far.
                    Jorska, the Tzimisce who plagues the city every now and then (and supposedly killed Valerianus).
                    Beyond those mentioned both in Transylvania Chronicles IV and Victorian Age Vampire, I like Maria de Aragon turning Sabbat in the beginning of the 20th century (I take she is in Bratislava now).

                    The city has a huge human backstabbing spy agency feel to it, so that the SI managed to destroy the Fortschritt chantry (I use it is the building southeast of the Ruprechtskirche) is understandable., plus the Arcanum presence in St. Stephan is another reason for it.

                    But in the end, if Tremere/Saulot/Tzimisce conglomerate didn't want it to happen, I doubt it could have happened.

                    - Saga

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                    • #25
                      My opinion is that they had to destroy Vienna Chantry because the Tremere-Salubri-Tzimisce-Kupala plot had grown to the Summers Family Tree-Apocalypse-Mister Sinister-Shiar-Cable levels of crazy.


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

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                        My opinion is that they had to destroy Vienna Chantry because the Tremere-Salubri-Tzimisce-Kupala plot had grown to the Summers Family Tree-Apocalypse-Mister Sinister-Shiar-Cable levels of crazy.

                        *Ahem* It's Scott / Alex / Gabriel (though it was supposed to be Nathan "Essex" the third brother in the Claremont era).

                        (Sorry, really off topic)

                        - Saga

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                        • #27
                          It's really no more complicated than the Cartmel Masterplan. Which I am not going to explain. Who you do think I am, anyway?

                          (ahem)

                          My point about the drones is; (A) they did not need to be massive war machines, or (B) even American produced and/or controlled. Also, the RQ-11 Raven was first produced in the 1990s. And statement about the Dallas event was just to provide an example of how non-combat drones can be modified into lethal weapon. The ISIS statement is an error, but one easily ignored or fixed. If there is a lesson from the destruction of the Vienna chantry, it is that no one is untouchable, no institutions are immune to attack and destruction.
                          Last edited by Grumpy RPG Reviews; 08-10-2019, 12:00 AM. Reason: Omega made me do it.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post
                            It's really no more complicated than the Cartmel Masterplan. Which I am not going to explain. Who you do think I am, anyway?
                            The Other, Looms, giant chairs, and....ahem. Never.


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

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                            • #29
                              A) Armed combat drones aren't terribly large... things don't have to be to be detectable by radar. The biggest drones aren't massive war machines, they're hyper-efficient high altitude UAVs that are mostly used for various types of information gathering (both military and scientific). If the drones participated actively in the battle itself (which means they had serious weapons mounted on them) they're not tiny little things like the Raven.

                              B) At the time of the attack on the Vienna Chantry, the US was the only country openly producing armed drones. Yes, in theory, Israel, China, or Russia could have used the drones they officially continue to claim they hadn't developed yet (or ever) but that would involve admitting they've been lying to the world, instead of just using the US made drones at the time... so if you want to stretch credulity even more... sure it isn't 100% that it had to be US made... but it's still more than 99%.

                              And, again, the Dallas example is a better example of not actually looking into things that are simple to research. In 2008, commercial drones would be lucky to fire a pistol once before becoming unstable, where 2016 had drones you can get that could actually mount a rifle and fire it without falling out of the sky (mostly ones designed for mounting high end cameras).

                              Like I said before, commercial drones have advanced extremely rapidly.

                              Evens so, none of that is mounting a missile.

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                              • #30
                                I included a small reference to Dr. Who in Hunger from Beyond.

                                Originally posted by shkspr1048 View Post
                                ...anyone remember Alec Baldwin's "The Shadow" from '94? That scene where the villain's powers are neutralized and everyone suddenly sees/remembers the giant hotel he was using as a base? Would anyone be shocked if a similar scene played out in Vienna two or three supplements from now?
                                If the Vienna chantry just reappears? Yes, I would be surprised. The destruction of the chantry, and the loss if the inner circle, has been too pivotal to just hand wave away. However, during the attack that reveal may have happened to some of the buildings - which promptly exploded. It remains to be seen what happens with Karl's attempt to rebuild it. That would operate at a level which could include the PCs. The chantry just reappearing.... like the Doctor's TARDIS would not involve the PCs as anything but witnesses. Which would be bad game design.

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