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[V5] What are YOUR thoughts on ShreckNet?

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  • #46
    Originally posted by GilbyTheFat View Post
    I'd say the lupines and the Sabbat already fill the "foaming-at-the-mouth campaign of indiscriminate genocide against all Kindred" quota. Let's leave the Technocracy out of it, shall we?
    The Second Inquisition is already a new hunter faction. The only difference is its controlled by a different faction of puppetmasters.


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

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    • #47
      Originally posted by Nosimplehiway View Post
      The problem was they didn't take into account that they would have to prevent ever single intrusion, ever. Always. Forever. Because, just one breach would reveal it all to whoever got in.
      I like this list, and all of the things you describe could have happened in the same time period of a few years, ending in 2004. My own inclination is the NSA was following leads international involving money laundering, human trafficking groups and the like, and this led them to ShrekNet.

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      • #48
        Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
        Eh, I don't see any reason why mages and vampires can't be at war the same way vampires and Lupines are.
        I would be surprised if they were not at war, or at least in some kind of conflict. Vampires should have neither friends nor allies.

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        • #49
          Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
          The Second Inquisition is already a new hunter faction. The only difference is its controlled by a different faction of puppetmasters.
          Alright, so we have lupines, Sabbat and Second Inquisition.

          Throw in a fourth which is more powerful than the first three combined and you might as well say "the Kindred race is now extinct" and call it a day.

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          • #50
            Originally posted by GilbyTheFat View Post
            I'd say the lupines and the Sabbat already fill the "foaming-at-the-mouth campaign of indiscriminate genocide against all Kindred" quota. Let's leave the Technocracy out of it, shall we?
            It's an extremely different kind of "war" though. Lupines are usually fighting vampires in the most physical possible way, with a few nasty supernatural tricks added for laughs (like a pack or two appearing in elisium out of thin air...) and they do this because they KNOW vampires to be creatures of the Wyrm (personal reasons may also be relevant and make stories better, mind you).

            The Technocracy wants to destroy vampires because they are reality deviants whose existance endangers the Consensus, which is the Technocracy most powerful weapon and the key to their ultimate victory (or so they believe). The fun thing is the Technocracy and vampires (all of those that are not complete lunatics at least) also want the same thing: that vamps are not discovered by the masses. This makes their conflict based on intrigue and expionage before turning to actual violence, which is just the end of the process and needs to stay hidden.

            I fully aknowledge that using the Technocracy in a Vampire game changes the mood and the theme of it. Unless you are careful your game can move from "street punk" or "ghotic horror" to "science fiction" or "steam punk" which may be problematic (unless that's what you want, of course). Incidentally that's the main reason why I suggested the Technocracy HELPS the Second Inquisition from behind the scenes. What I suggest in order to make the SI sudden "ascension" believable (pun intended) is the Union helped the Second Inquisition organize and coordinate as a tool to fight vampires and then they were allowed to develop on their own with little control from the Technocracy itself. They mostly provide resources and give the SI pointers on targets. They don't usually send an army of cyborgs armed with mystical flamethrowers to hunt down vamps in the sewers. This way the Second Inquisition remains a threatening (mostly) independent foe with mysterious backers and access to resources even vampires never suspected could exist and it's coherent with what we know about the WoD.

            P.S.

            The Society of Leopold is vital to the SI for 2 main reasons: first they actually know more than the other SI subfactions about what vamps really are and how they can be hurt. They fought vamps for centuries and have books upon books about them. Second, the Society of Leopold has access to true faith (less than it used to, though), and holy weaponry. Keep in mind in the WoD these things WORK. You may be an extremely jaded and secular ex FBI agent but it's difficult to argue when the monster who shrugged off all of your bullets suddenly combusts as the fanatical lunatic from the Vatican starts uttering sentences in latin. Or when the dread caused by another vamp suddenly dissipates or when what seems like a huge monster is revealed to be just an ugly and small hobo wearing dirty clothes.
            Last edited by Haquim; 10-06-2019, 07:55 PM.

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            • #51
              Originally posted by GilbyTheFat View Post
              Alright, so we have lupines, Sabbat and Second Inquisition.

              Throw in a fourth which is more powerful than the first three combined and you might as well say "the Kindred race is now extinct" and call it a day.
              Realistically speaking Vamps are the most disadvantaged kind of supernatural out there: while individually powerful they can't operate during the day and sunlight kills them. Werewolves, Mages, Mummies and the like don't have these limitations and can sniff out vamps with their own magic. It should be easy for them to locate the vampire heavens and then plan attacks during the day, easily dealing with the bloodsuckers. That doesn't happen in the setting because there would be no game otherwise and because it would be terribly boring anyway. The system is called "Storyteller System" for a reason, after all.

              So, relax, the Technocracy doesn't like vampires (they don't like anyone or anything that reeks of the supernatural... their job is to supress the supernatural!) but they are not going to destroy them as a race unless that's what you want to happen in your game, and you can come up with a thousand explanations to justify that.
              Last edited by Haquim; 10-06-2019, 07:51 PM.

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              • #52
                Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post

                I would be surprised if they were not at war, or at least in some kind of conflict. Vampires should have neither friends nor allies.
                Mages and vampires have fought each other for centuries. The Order of Hermes alone had 2 Masaasa wars with the Tremere, for example. From time to time vamps and tradition mages CAN work together though. This is not as likely when it comes to the Technocracy, because to the Technocracy every "reality deviant" is a threat that needs to be dealt with.

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                • #53
                  Originally posted by Haquim View Post
                  The Society of Leopold is vital to the SI for 2 main reasons: first they actually know more than the other SI subfactions about what vamps really are and how they can be hurt. They fought vamps for centuries and have books upon books about them. Second, the Society of Leopold has access to true faith (less than it used to, though), and holy weaponry. Keep in mind in the WoD these things WORK. You may be an extremely jaded and secular ex FBI agent but it's difficult to argue when the monster who shrugged off all of your bullets suddenly combusts as the fanatical lunatic from the Vatican starts uttering sentences in latin. Or when the dread caused by another suddenly dissipates or when what seems like a huge monsters is revealed to be just an ugly small hobo wearing dirty clothes.
                  I mean, I can see two explanations that said jaded secular ex-FBI special agent comes to.

                  The first is to realise that they've been straight-up wrong about the divine for most, if not all, of their life and decide to start going to church. Y'know, before their soul gets torn asunder by the infernal spawn of Satan.

                  The second is to immediately think "ah, of course the smarmy sanctimonious fuckmouth from a church with two millennia of unforgivable hypocrisies uses magic to kill the blank-body and then claims it to be 'faith'. Why are my tax dollars going toward propping up this asshole again?"

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                  • #54
                    Originally posted by GilbyTheFat View Post
                    I mean, I can see two explanations that said jaded secular ex-FBI special agent comes to.

                    The first is to realise that they've been straight-up wrong about the divine for most, if not all, of their life and decide to start going to church. Y'know, before their soul gets torn asunder by the infernal spawn of Satan.

                    The second is to immediately think "ah, of course the smarmy sanctimonious fuckmouth from a church with two millennia of unforgivable hypocrisies uses magic to kill the blank-body and then claims it to be 'faith'. Why are my tax dollars going toward propping up this asshole again?"
                    Those may be reasonable reactions though I suspect a jaded and secular ex FBI agent won't be so quick to distinguish between the power of faith and magic. If the lunatic dressed as a priest and carrying a sword can heal your wounds by touching them or can supress the bloodsuckers powers he's going to be damn useful when dealing with them and I don't think the first thing one would think when witnessing these miracles (that's what they are in the WoD) would be "my tax dollars are being wasted on these guys!" more like "give these guys more money!"

                    P.S.

                    The society of Leopold is financed by the Vatican (and possibly wealthy and "devout" families around the world). They are fanatics but they are good to have on your side when you fight vampires, and besides they are independently wealthy, all they really ask is a chance to kill and maim what to them amounts to the spawn of satan... XD
                    Last edited by Haquim; 10-06-2019, 08:19 PM.

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                    • #55
                      Originally posted by Haquim View Post
                      The society of Leopold is financed by the Vatican (and possibly wealthy and "devout" families around the world). They are fanatics but they are good to have on your side when you fight vampires, and besides they are independently wealthy, all they really ask is a chance to kill and maim what to them amounts to the spawn of satan... XD
                      Y'know, I'd love to claim the majority of Firstlight operatives would remember learning how lots of Catholic inquisitors in the dark ages asked for a chance to kill and maim anything they could label "spawn of Satan" purely for not blindly conforming to church doctrine...

                      But logic and reason kinda go out the window once you get to the point where you're willing to join the fight against things that can strangle you with your own shadow or turn your face into a new set of kidneys, so fair enough

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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by GilbyTheFat View Post
                        Which is perfectly valid. I didn't pick up any sarcasm or irony myself.

                        I don't actually think the Second Inquisition is a terrible idea; being a fan of espionage and black ops fiction, I quite like the idea of the intelligence community finally cluing in about vamps and deciding they're threats to national security (which, frankly, many of them would look the part). Just some of the other details like the NSA breach and all these rival intelligence agencies cooperating because the Vatican said "vamps are evil, mmmkay" feel like superfluous padding. It would make just as much sense for the war on terror and the rise of surveillance states to eventually lead to intelligence communities realising what lurks in the shadows and fighting back of their own accord.

                        And all the while, the Kindred could simply be mistakenly believing that the Vatican and all these rival intelligence communities are in cahoots. How are they to know any different?
                        That is pretty much exactly what is happening. Unless I've missed some sources, the intelligence agencies found the vampires first, considered them as threats and then made contact with the Society of Leopold - probably simply by discreetly asking around in various churches and religions, because they're the obvious places to look for monster hunters with centuries of tradition and working tactics. That they actually found paramilitary allies with a weapon as powerful as True Faith was probably a nice bonus.

                        Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post
                        Cifer "Oh no, we've been hacked by the government. If only we knew how to counter hack them and cover up the Masquerade breach, like we've been doing for decades..." - Joe Everynoss.
                        Sure, counterhack away. That means backtracing their connection through a few obfuscating layers of their own, gaining entrance and administrative access to extremely secure servers and deleting the stuff they found. How long do you think that takes? Conversely, how long do you think does it take to copy the files found onto a hard drive, unplug that and move it over to a computer with no internet connection to have an analyst team pore over it at their leisure?
                        There's a reason why shutting down infiltrated machines and air-gapping systems are an important part of information security. There's no software exploit that works on a computer that you can't reach.
                        Last edited by Cifer; 10-06-2019, 08:49 PM.

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                        • #57
                          Originally posted by Cifer View Post
                          That is pretty much exactly what is happening. Unless I've missed some sources, the intelligence agencies found the vampires first, considered them as threats and then made contact with the Society of Leopold - probably simply by discreetly asking around in various churches and religions, because they're the obvious places to look for monster hunters with centuries of tradition and working tactics. That they actually found paramilitary allies with a weapon as powerful as True Faith was probably a nice bonus.
                          I was talking about having the intelligence agencies doing the fighting themselves without the Vatican having to be thrown into the mix. You can have all the true faith you want, but when you're part of an institution with two millennia of lies and indescribable atrocities under your belt while all of your books classify "vampires" and "anybody who has different beliefs" as equally evil, no halfway-intelligent government agency is going to see you as a credible source, let alone spend their money on your crusade.

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                          • #58
                            Originally posted by Cifer View Post

                            Sure, counterhack away. That means backtracing their connection through a few obfuscating layers of their own, gaining entrance and administrative access to extremely secure servers and deleting the stuff they found. How long do you think that takes? Conversely, how long do you think does it take to copy the files found onto a hard drive, unplug that and move it over to a computer with no internet connection to have an analyst team pore over it at their leisure?
                            There's a reason why shutting down infiltrated machines and air-gapping systems are an important part of information security. There's no software exploit that works on a computer that you can't reach.
                            How long do you think it would take the NSA to convince the government that there are literal monsters controlling society from behind the scenes? I'm honestly shocked they didn't just toss all the evidence in with records of UFO's, Big Foot, Loch Ness Monster and shapeshifting Reptilians! You know, all those things in real life that you can find videos of on youtube?

                            From the very moment I picked up a WoD book, it introduced itself as a darker, more corrupted version of the world we live in. I see no reason to believe that the Second Inquisition would be as significant of a threat as V5 is making them out to be. In order for the Technocracy to not be swooping like bats out of hell trying to convince everyone that there is a perfectly scientific explanation for all this, we would have to assume the SI is a small scale operation, with the existence of vampires being kept on a need to know basis. And if that's the case, then the vampires would hopelessly overpower them in the field. Even Ghouls would pose a significant threat, since V5 seems to have given the physical disciplines a pretty beefy overhaul.

                            And that's not counting the mortals weak, desperate and foolish enough to be lured in by the benefits that vampires can offer them. Or the people in positions of power who have already been swayed by their honeyed promises. The rise of the Second Inquisition assumes that the entire power structure the vampires have spent centuries establishing has collapsed over night and now vampires are cut off from influencing mortal society beyond spinning the public media.

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                            • #59
                              Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

                              Most politicians would murder their opposition if they legally could and you're asking them to tolerate people actually better at politics than them with no rights?
                              Yeah. I don't see what's so hard to understand about this. You said it yourself, most politicians would murder their opposition, not if they legally could but rather if they could get away with it. Vampires call this "Tuesday". It's a match made in heaven, and the intelligence community works with objectively worse people on a daily basis who still have heartbeats.

                              The best case scenario you could ever hope for and retain plausibility in my eyes, is the intelligence community hammers out a deal with the Camarilla to support the Masquerade with their technology, in exchange for information and aid hunting mutual enemies.

                              ...they are objectively 100% right about vampires being evil parasites out to control the world and every test they perform more or less confirms what they know.
                              Yep, the religious nutcases with zero sense of proportionality or subtlety, who believe themselves accountable to no authority but God's and that anything they do is morally justified because Jesus, who'd blow up an orphanage to take out a vampire in Golconda because babies go to Heaven and you're actually protecting their little immortal souls, are totally credible sources on who's evil and who isn't. I guess it works, as long as you assume the entire intelligence community are collectively the dumbest, most gullible, motherfuckers on Earth.
                              Last edited by Theodrim; 10-06-2019, 09:54 PM.

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                              • #60
                                The SI is more or less the WoD version of Delta Green; a conspiracy of operatives and military types spread across government agencies working together in a secret conspiracy to fight monsters. Congress, the Courts, and the President are not involved in the SI. The SI is an illegal and illicit human conspiracy involving multiple agencies and multiple governments. It battles an illegal and illicit inhuman conspiracy involving multiple agencies and multiple governments. It is not about orders from on high or something openly known and is barely coordinated. It is mostly about vampires not being able to take anything for granted and means the game cannot be entirely a nihilistic power fantasy for gamers.

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