Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Feedback request: dueling character concepts

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Feedback request: dueling character concepts

    I'm in the process of conceptualizing a new character for an Anarch game, and I'm split between two concepts that are equally appealing, and I can't decide which to choose especially since I can adapt each concept for the relevant clans. I haven't statted any of them out yet since I'm still in the brainstorming phase, but I have rough ideas as to where I'd apply dots and merits/flaws to select. I thought I'd throw out the ideas here for feedback, maybe someone will suggest something I hadn't considered that I might find worth exploring.

    First, a bit of background about the chronicle. The city we're in has basically undergone a mass bloodletting due to a domino effect of power plays and regime changes, and most of its "geezers" are either dead, disgraced, or in hiding. Thus, the city is vulnerable and without a functional hierarchy, and the chaos needs to end and wagons circled lest the Cammies seize it, or worse, the Sabbat invades. But in the meantime, it's a gold rush as there are lots of power vacuums to fill and lots of domain up for grabs.

    So, the main two ideas I've fleshed out so far:

    1. A 160-year-old Nosferatu who used to be quite the terror in the city's least reputable district, as a snake oil salesman-racketeer. Think Bill the Butcher meets Nigel West Dickens. His entire shtick was blood bonding targeted mortals by slipping vitae into snake oil, building a blood bound street gang around himself led by ghouls, smashing the competitions' heads, and ruling his domain through racketeering. Not so much for any particular reason, but because he could.

    Embraced during a race riot in 1855, continued his reign of villainy for 35 years, knocked into torpor during a natural disaster in 1890, and spent 130 years taking a dirt nap before being unearthed by construction. In the meantime his old haunt has become yuppie and hipster central, having been heavily developed and gentrified due to its proximity to the downtown area.

    This is actually going to be a highly unorthodox Nossie if I play him, since he'll actually be a social-primary character and I'm actually considering ECD (Presence). Either way, definitely going with the Entrepreneur merit from the V20 TMR book, and a focus on his trade's abilities with a healthy dose of head-smashing when business acumen fails. This character appeals to me because I love playing the anachronistic throwbacks, I love unorthodox characters whose flaws provide unique challenges to overcome, and honestly, I've never actually played a Nossie before.

    2. A Tzimisce Rack and/or Elysium Keeper. This one really appeals to me, because I tripped on a combination of merits and flaws that are thematically perfect for Tzimisce, and could prove fantastically interesting for a character archetype traditionally socially-attuned: Privacy-Obsessed (from LotC), Eidetic Memory, and Lightning Calculator. Maybe Peacemaker or Conoisseur, Ability Aptitude (Medicine), and/or whatever that flaw is called which mimics the Trujah clan weakness.

    The core idea being, the character creates and curates a "neutral" space for feeding and negotiating and tracks prestation debt, but the reality is it's little more than social engineering and experimentation, and the character operates on a mathematical and logical level as opposed to emotional. In the smaller picture, the character manages their domain with borderline "bezosian" attention to detail, and fancies themselves a bit of a sommelier by building a wide and diverse collection of blood dolls -- all reconstructed by Vicissitude for visual appeal, of course. They'd consider their domain a little fishbowl or bonsai tree for other vampires to experience at their own pleasure, but only with permission and in strict obedience of the rules.

  • #2
    They both sound like solid concepts, and either would be fun to play. Both are creative and put a cool spin on classic clans.

    However.... I am always a little hesitant of concepts whose core concept is being reclusive. I'm also a little leery of concepts with reduced emotional response. Both tend to reduce character involvement in the plot. Together, it might make for a hermit.

    This might not be a problem in a chronicle in a calm, quiet city, where the plot slowly unwinds over a period of years, but this chronicle sounds more dynamic.

    Imagine the ST going around the table asking each player, "And what do you do about the Sabbat and Camarilla both invading on the same night? Remember, the Northside's on fire, they're rioting in Brandon Park, and there's a Vozhd rampaging in the parking lot during a baseball night game. As tens of thousands of mortals flee the carnage, there is a four hour delay on all the highways out of the city. People are just abandoning their vehicles and fleeing on foot. The Anarch Council has sent out the word for everyone to fight the nearest enemy they can find. Whoever manages to win the night, wins the city!"

    Player 1: "I order my ghouls at the utilities commission to cut power to the whole city. That should cripple the Camarilla's war room at the hotel, since I already destroyed the generator. Next I need to steal a gasoline tanker truck to drive into the Sabbat HQ. I jump out just before it goes boom!"

    Player 2: "I send out the Call to my gang of fifty mentally disturbed clowns. Everyone, get in that Smartcar! Tonight, we crush our enemies beneath our giant red shoes! Honk-honk!"

    Player 3: "I oil up my sword, put on my leathers, and ride my chopper out to Spring Grove Cemetery. My lush locks blow majestically behind my face, which is illuminated by the flames of burning neighborhoods. My intel says there's a mass embrace tonight. More like a massacre embrace! I'm gonna kick the Sabbat's ash!"

    The Tzimisce: "I return to my haven and re-analyze the fourth quarter sociometric data from last year. There's been a problem with normalizing the data by demographic type in the second quintile. Oh, and if I have time after that, I need to order some new Bonsai shears online. My old ones are getting dull. With all the tzimmes tonight, there's no way I can get to my regular shears sharpening guy. Oh, bother. I'm out of surgical gauze. I add that to my order. Does my order post in time for next-day delivery?"
    I think the Nosferatu would be able to come up with something more interesting to do.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Nosimplehiway View Post
      However.... I am always a little hesitant of concepts whose core concept is being reclusive. I'm also a little leery of concepts with reduced emotional response. Both tend to reduce character involvement in the plot. Together, it might make for a hermit.

      This might not be a problem in a chronicle in a calm, quiet city, where the plot slowly unwinds over a period of years, but this chronicle sounds more dynamic...
      I actually prefer to play the characters who are a half-step to full-step removed from the narrative, and at least introspective, given my strong preference for "big picture" characters focused on knowledge, observation, and strategy. It definitely helps my tendency to run the table, given how little I actually get to play, and when I do I get easily overexcited. I'm working with the ST to help him out -- he definitely prefers lighter-toned, more "adventurous" narratives, but on the other hand he needs to accept WoD games need room to breathe, and that working on a smaller scale creates more controllable scenarios.

      But, this is why I'm heavily split. The Tzimisce concept appeals more to my sensibilities as a player, and was born out of an alternate concept for a Daughter of Cacaphony nightclub owner, which wasn't so much due to cohesiveness of concept but rather getting to play with a fun discipline spread in front of interesting merits and flaws. It may not initially seem to mesh with the chronicle and its themes, but there's ample room to make it work if my character can quickly and decisively entrench themselves in the city's feeding and prestation infrastructure, which makes them necessarily politically engaged.

      And, the Nossie concept was originally intended as an unorthodox leatherface -- same backstory, but the character was less "Nigel West Dickens" and more "Sweeney Todd" since his old domain was actually the city's stockyard, butchery, tanning, and meat-packing district in the 19th and early 20th Centuries. Basically, a serial killer who directed his efforts towards eliminating rivals and competition, and "disappearing" them into the butcheries and tanneries, who almost certainly would have ended up with Conspicuous Consumption for additional freebies. Except the character as originally designed would have been very difficult, if not impossible, to play as intended especially for the consequences of being a leatherface to Humanity.

      The newer concept of a recently-awakened snake oil salesman fits much better, and has two directions I could easily take him with hilarious implications. The most obvious being, nutritional supplements are nothing if not modern-day snake oil, but the second being the district in question is also the rising star of the city's microbrew and gastropub community. If one thing in this world could cover up the taste of Nosferatu vitae, it's nasty-ass hipster IPA's.

      Comment


      • #4
        If the goal is to stand back from the action a bit, and spend time helping the ST, then the Tzimisce.
        If you want to be in the thick of things, the Nosferatu.

        Side-note: I doubt a drinker could identify the flavor of vitae in a bottle of Kombucha. Could work for either the snake-oil salesman or the Tzimisce.

        Comment


        • #5
          I think the nosferatu will provide a more fulfilling experience for all at the table, as it can be hard for other players to interact well with an emotional brick wall.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Vendrin View Post
            I think the nosferatu will provide a more fulfilling experience for all at the table, as it can be hard for other players to interact well with an emotional brick wall.
            Seconded. Remember, regardless of what else happens, you're not running a 1 on 1 chronicle. There are other players at the table. Taking them into account and how the PC affects them is just being considerate.

            Historically, Lone Wolf style PCs tend to mesh poorly with large groups, by nature of definition. (Not saying it always happens, but is doesn't help).

            Plus, I just think the Nosferatu is more dynamic, and lends itself to action. I fully understand the appeal of a contemplative sort, but the snake-oil salesvamp sounds more interesting, for everyone involved.


            Comment


            • #7
              Yeah, I decided to go with the Nossie; character concept is still baking, but I'm closer to where I want to take it. I may have to tweak it further, given I informed my ST of the decision. I asked him what this character would know of other elders in the city given his chronological age, then he informed me my character's the (chronologically) oldest vampire left in the city.

              Let's take stock: recently awoken ancilla with absolutely no power base or allies left standing, who's simultaneously going to be the oldest vampire in the city and probably the lowest-generation, which means I'm going to be part of whatever struggle over praxis inevitably happens whether I want it or not. Wonderful. What's ironic is I already planned for the character to be an old school, pre-Second Revolt, Anarch, so maybe I can wheedle my way into sinking a couple dots into Anarch status. But that depends on if anyone, in the city or otherwise, has even heard of the PC, and that's up to the ST.

              At least I have the merits and flaws sorted (mostly). Entrepreneur or Enchanting Voice, and I'm going with Bruiser and Monstrous Maw, off-setting all that with Grip of the Damned. I really don't want to overlord on merits/flaws, but if I find something a two-pointer that really tickles my fancy I'll probably take both Entrepreneur and Enchanting Voice. The merit's great on its own, but I can't ignore the comedy of a Nosferatu with enchanting voice, let alone one with a monstrous maw.

              All things with the chronicle considered, Peacemaker might make for an excellent option, but it's hard imagining a racketeering con man having the merit.

              I mean either way the character is going to be a Potence- and Obfuscate-fueled monstrosity with a couple dots of Presence on the side to start.

              Comment


              • #8
                Thought I'd give a quick follow-up on the thread and done. First time playing the character was last Saturday, great fun, think the character's going to work out well. The most frustrating, but entertaining, part of the game was the character being in torpor a short enough time to have a concept of the contemporary world, but long enough to not have a sense of scope or scale for it. Adding to that is the fact this character is definitively a "fuck it, I do the thing" flavor of Anarch, and for once I'm playing a character with enough dots in Intelligence and Wits (and unconstrained by high Humanity) that I can really let loose on weaponizing anything and everything.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Glad to see it went well for you

                  How much of a shock was it for your character to hear "oh, by the way, the Central Intelligence Agency has these black ops muppets called the Second Inquisition whose sole purpose in life is to hunt and kill us. Oh, and they're actually good at it"?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by GilbyTheFat View Post
                    Glad to see it went well for you

                    How much of a shock was it for your character to hear "oh, by the way, the Central Intelligence Agency has these black ops muppets called the Second Inquisition whose sole purpose in life is to hunt and kill us. Oh, and they're actually good at it"?
                    Yeah we're not doing that fifth edition shit.

                    On the other hand, the ST got a very rude awakening as to my ability and willingness to weaponize Masquerade breaches. When someone else is doing the dirty and has more to hide than you...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Theodrim View Post
                      Yeah we're not doing that fifth edition shit.

                      On the other hand, the ST got a very rude awakening as to my ability and willingness to weaponize Masquerade breaches. When someone else is doing the dirty and has more to hide than you...
                      Ah, okay. When you mentioned Second Revolt I figured your storyteller was using the metaplot from V5.

                      I really gotta try my hand at playing a character who weaponises the Masquerade at some point. Sounds like fun.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by GilbyTheFat View Post
                        Ah, okay. When you mentioned Second Revolt I figured your storyteller was using the metaplot from V5.

                        I really gotta try my hand at playing a character who weaponises the Masquerade at some point. Sounds like fun.
                        Oh, no -- the Second Revolt happened in the 1940's, and is what led to the creation of the Anarch Free State on the west coast (the Jeremy MacNeil shit). Though, the reality is a bit murkier -- Anarchs never really went away after the Convention of Thorns, they just entered the Camarilla and worked within its confines. It's old (2nd edition) lore, but North America's history was basically "Anarchs move west, run Sabbat out of town, build up presence in cities; Anarchs settle down or established Camarilla vampiires move in, and displace younger Anarchs to move west". Eventually the Anarchs ran out of west, and when it came time for the Camarilla to collect its due, tensions escalated until the shit hit the fan. Until that point, and since, most US cities still had at least something of an Anarch presence, if only in the form of Camarilla vampires that had Anarch political leanings or sympathies; St. Louis was one major thus-identified city, if I remember my lore correctly.

                        Comment

                        Working...
                        X