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Theo Bell V5 plotline makes little sense

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Haquim View Post


    What I'm saying is that Theo Bell not being an enemy of the Camarilla after killing Hardestadt makes no sense BUT that can be salvaged. I like that Theo killed Hardestadt (he did the same in Gehenna, they just kept the event in the new metaplot without the world's ending).

    As for my own metaplot I made my own a few years back actually, a chronicle of ages from AD1197 (and a few zero sessions going back a century) to Gehenna and I didn't use any of the scenarios provided by WW. That said I think the new metaplot is viable BUT it was rushed. Events need to be fleshed out, as they are now they feel like the GDs wanted some developments to happen without much care for them to make sense. I'm ok with that as long as the GDs delve into the events and give us details (and/or possible explanations of why some things happened they way they did).

    Signature characters: I like most of them (couldn't stand Anatole... he was dead, now he might be back...) I use them sparingly though, I find they work better to impress neonates.

    Requiem: I liked Requiem mechanically, didn't like the (lack of) metaplot, anyway it's a very different game with its own merits and flaws.
    As you mentioned, the lack of detailed metafiction doomed Requiem.

    Which is sad, because Requiem was an attempt to correct a colossal mistake WW made by writing VtM metafiction like Stephen King on a coke bender after VtM was much more popular than they expected.

    VtM was originally intended to be like Requiem. Players never above 8th gen, Elders (6th - 8th) they ever interacted with. Everything above that a plot device, or myth.

    We ended up with shit like "The Dream," where 3 ancient vampires who, according to the lore, should have long lost their humanity, acting like catty bitches over a couple of twinks.
    Last edited by Illuminostro; 11-06-2019, 02:00 AM.

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    • #32
      It's like this, Theo Bell whacked one the founders of the Camarilla. He should be number one with a bullet when it comes to the Red List.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Illuminostro View Post
        We ended up with shit like "The Dream," where 3 ancient vampires who, according to the lore, should have long lost their humanity, acting like catty bitches over a couple of twinks.
        I find that a 4th generation vampire should probably be one of the most singularly petty individuals in the universe. Because why not?

        Like Pai Mai in Kill Bill. "He didn't return the nod I gave him, so I will kill every one of his monastary."


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

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        • #34
          Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
          I find that a 4th generation vampire should probably be one of the most singularly petty individuals in the universe. Because why not?
          Evil Is Petty.

          I agree with the use of the trope because it is frightening. The victims are utterly subject to the whim of the powerful, with no chance to escape or for redress. The Powerful face no external limits, but they are dull, venal, detached, vain, delusional, and so forth. You are not caught in the grip of a real genius, just the school yard bully. That bully just has power - but he's still a dumpy little thug.

          It also speaks to (at least one reason) why the Inner Circle didn't make Bell Enemy No. 1. Namely the Inner Circle don't care enough to put out the effort because it doesn't help them, and putting Bell on the List sounds like work and that might cut into their gold schedule, or "Larry" suggested it and damned if they are going to support "Larry" on anything, and putting Bell on the List would not make that particular Circle members look good, and besides no one liked Hardestadt anyway.
          Last edited by Grumpy RPG Reviews; 11-06-2019, 01:23 PM.

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          • #35
            Why not leave Theo to negotiate and act as a go between? It keeps him in a similar position that he was before, running interference between the Cam and the Anarchs. Only this time, he isn't on the payroll. If he screws it up, it is on him and there is cause to bring down the hammer.

            Especially if Jan or someone else orchestrated the whole thing to eliminate Hardestadt, there is as of yet no reason to remove all the pawns from the board. Additionally, they run the risk of turning Theo into a martyr, and inciting the wrath of at least the Brujah, if not all the Anarchs.

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            • #36
              I think my assumption about Theo Bell not being on the Red List is because I assume he's going to die anyway (or at least will have numerous plans against him) but it's not the kind of thing you send Alastors after.

              No, Theo Bell will die in some elaborate plot or action that will probably be dramatically ironic.

              Like one of the Anarchs killing him.


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

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              • #37
                Lets put thing into perspective

                Of the V20 Red List

                1)Rabbat was put on the list because she was thypoid mary

                2)Raymond Narcisse was put on the list because he is a deranged vigilante who went on a killing spree, taking down random vampires.

                3) Kyoko Shinsegawa was put on the list because she killed the Seneschal of Seattle, an Archon named Wasel and sent Montrose, the Sheriff of Las Vegas, in torpor

                4) Christopher Barrow was put on the list because he is the ringmaster of a supernatural slave ring

                5) Alex Swift was put on the list because he is a valid tactician and is making Camarilla bleed in the South.

                6) Germaine was put on the list because he pissed Madame Guil.

                7) Francisca Dos Rodriguez was put on the list because she is an infernalista and because she has and old grudge with the Brujah Justicar

                8) Aysha Jocastian was put on the list because she published the book of Nod

                9) Karen Anatos was put on the list because she makes public display of vampiric powers

                10) Valerius Maior was put on the list because he is an infernalist and because he is an embarssment to Mistress Fanchon, one of the Founders.

                11) Dylan Bruce was put on the list because he stole books from a Tremere chantry in Bulgaria and because his works lead the to death of several Alastors

                12) Petaniqua was put on the list because she assaulted several elders of her clans,fought the bloodline of an ancient Toreador named Sophonisba, and because she challenged Camilla Banes to a duel

                13) Kemintiri became number 1 on the list because she has the habit of killing elder ventrue and usurp their identities, the first was Lord Rimmon in the middle age, the last was Justicar Michaelis.



                Of old V20 list

                1) Angelo was put on the list because he killed a bunch of vampires in Baltimore

                2) Tariq was put in the list because he was the most famous diablerist of the Assamite clan at the time of the Anarch Revolt

                3) Genina got on the list because se played Zodiac, threatening the Masquerade

                4) Enkidu was put on the list because he is a cazy beast who hunts vampire

                5) Ossian was put on the list because he draw the wrath of other lupines, and his presence made them push the cities limits

                6) Ferox was put on the list because he like killing Nosferatus and because he is one of the instigator of the Gargoyle Revolt

                7) Alexis was put on the list because she stole from Toreador elders.


                So,more or less:


                A) great Masquerade violations
                B) Infernalism
                C) Murder of high ranking Camarilla elders
                D) Frequent crimes against elders (from stealing from them to killing them)
                E) Threatening Camarilla borders, or the society of kindred as a whole (from being a plauge-bearer to making hard keeping peace with the werewolves)
                F) Crimes against decorum: from being an embarassment for a Founder to piss a Justicar
                G) Multiple assaults or transgressions against a single Clan



                Now... can we agree that killing Hardestadt (one of the Founders of the Camarilla, one of the members of the Inner Circle, a Ventrue that has been on the Ephorate since ever, who is also the Prince of Fief of the Black Cross, which means "Germany"), and killing his childe Pieterzoon ( who is an Archon and the leader of E-Division and military leader of the Camarilla war-effort in the South), and incidentally causing the biggest schism in the Camarilla since... ever (there are far more Brujah than Gangrel), and igniting the Third Anarch Revolt, is without doubt the direst and biggest crime in the history of the Camarilla?

                And that it requires...well... quite the suspension of disbelief (where "quite" means "big as barn") to believe that this man not only is not public enemy number 1, but he is even considered a "neutral party"?

                Surely we can discuss about "magic bullet theories" and so on, but even taking in account a big plot to overthrow Hardestadt... it really takes a BIG BIG BIG effort, an effort that strains to death credibility and setting coherency to make this thing work. You have at least to discard everything you know about Camarilla's justice.
                Last edited by Undead rabbit; 11-06-2019, 06:59 PM.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
                  To me, the prime examples of Conclaves were the yearly Conclaves the Gangrel Justicar held every year in New Orleans. Compare that to his other North American based Justicar Petrodon who was there specifically to suppress the Anarchs. I would have been very interested in what exactly happened in those yearly New Orleans Conclaves. What issues were discussed, and how they impacted things.
                  I'd have been too, as the book made it sound like close to diddly-squat.

                  Ostensibly, Xaviar goes to New Orleans every year to review the land treaty with the region's Lupines. What exactly this involves is not elaborated, nor why it requires a full conclave vs. a smaller number of representatives going over terms (wouldn't that be more convenient for both parties?), but it's moot. The real reason Xaviar's in New Orleans is to drain power from a caern only he knows about. The conclaves give him an excuse to be seen in the city every year. It's stated he's draining the caern's power for a specific purpose, but the book somewhat strangely neglects to mention what this is. It's made all the more moot because Xaviar doesn't have any connections to the city's Kindred characters, or any stated goals within New Orleans beyond draining one of its caerns. The basic idea was interesting, but it felt essentially half-finished. Any GM who wanted to use it in a storyline would have lots of details to fill in.

                  New Orleans by Night was one of the game's weaker By Nights, though, IMO. I've mined it for a lot of ideas, but it doesn't hold a candle next to Chicago or Constantinople.

                  One of the better-detailed conclaves was mentioned off-hand in DC by Night. Marcus Vitel wants a freer hand to cultivate influence over the federal government, citing that it will allow him to better defend the city against the Sabbat. The Camarilla has traditionally been leery about DC's prince acquiring too much power and votes no. It only got a couple sentences, but there was a very clear sense of what the conclave's purpose was and consequences it could have, as Vitel's pursuit of power defined so much of the rest of the book.

                  I think the major power of the Justicars was their ability to call Conclaves. I remember distinctly that Justicars could not remove Princes from their domain - but that they could call a Conclave to do so. I think the Justicar powers outside conclaves was relatively limited - they could enforce the decisions made by the Inner Circle, and act in a very restrained way that had to fit tradition and precedent.
                  Interesting. This sounds like something that might've been in the 1e or 2e rulebook. There were a lot of ideas there that ultimately ended up getting dropped, like Ventrue rarely wanting to be princes (imagine, right?). I suppose in both cases, it was simply easier to write later characters exercising direct authority vs. trying to do so around the confines of not being justicar/prince.


                  Blood and Bourbon, my New Orleans-based Vampire chronicle.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                    No, Theo Bell will die in some elaborate plot or action that will probably be dramatically ironic.

                    Like one of the Anarchs killing him.
                    I'm calling it now, his killer will be the most unhinged psycho diablerist fruitcake in the entirety of the Movement:

                    Agata Starek.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Undead rabbit View Post


                      Now... can we agree that killing Hardestadt (one of the Founders of the Camarilla, one of the members of the Inner Circle, a Ventrue that has been on the Ephorate since ever, who is also the Prince of Fief of the Black Cross, which means "Germany"), and killing his childe Pieterzoon ( who is an Archon and the leader of E-Division and military leader of the Camarilla war-effort in the South), and incidentally causing the biggest schism in the Camarilla since... ever (there are far more Brujah than Gangrel), and igniting the Third Anarch Revolt, is without doubt the direst and biggest crime in the history of the Camarilla?.
                      No?

                      I mean, you're acting like the Camarilla and Anarchs were at peace or this current rebellion is even more violent than others in recent memory.

                      Let's throw some other people out who never made the Red List:

                      * The Brujah Council that annihilated the entirety of Russia's Camarilla in their Anarch Revolt.
                      * The French Revolution's Brujah who slaughtered the vast majority of the Toreador Elders in France.
                      * The Sabbat's various leaders that include Polonia, Vykos, Moncada, Jalan, and Gailbraith
                      * Jeremy MacNeil who stole the entirety of California away from the Camarilla
                      * Salvador for killing LA's Prince and dozens of others (at least if you believe him)
                      * Ur-Shulgi
                      * Marcus Vitel
                      * Baba Yaga

                      Theo Bell is small potatoes.

                      I mean, seriously, where do you rank the Sabbat involved in the Crusade that wiped out most of the East Coast's undead?
                      Last edited by CTPhipps; 11-07-2019, 02:31 AM.


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

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                      • #41
                        I just imagined a group of Alastor coming for Ur-Shulgi or Baba Yaga..... and I find it hilarious. They both are demigodlike in power and capacities, and would wipe most of everything thrown at them (Nictuku apart). Most of the time, what I saw on the red list were individuals whose antics were detrimental to all kindred (aka Infernalists and the like, deluded fourth generation murderhobos, and so on ), not just the Camarilla. In fact, the red list would have been a thing organized by both Sabbat and Camarilla together that it wouldn't surprise me.
                        But for Theo, yes, just the humiliation for clan Ventrue should be enough for them to try to have him there, if one of the name could be erased sooner than later.
                        Hell, by principle, all of the Sabbat is already on its own list, to be taken out with extreme prejudice.
                        The Red List focus on individuals, not organizations.....

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Darthpalpy View Post
                          I just imagined a group of Alastor coming for Ur-Shulgi or Baba Yaga..... and I find it hilarious. They both are demigodlike in power and capacities, and would wipe most of everything thrown at them (Nictuku apart). Most of the time, what I saw on the red list were individuals whose antics were detrimental to all kindred (aka Infernalists and the like, deluded fourth generation murderhobos, and so on ), not just the Camarilla. In fact, the red list would have been a thing organized by both Sabbat and Camarilla together that it wouldn't surprise me.
                          But for Theo, yes, just the humiliation for clan Ventrue should be enough for them to try to have him there, if one of the name could be erased sooner than later.
                          Hell, by principle, all of the Sabbat is already on its own list, to be taken out with extreme prejudice.
                          The Red List focus on individuals, not organizations.....
                          Basically, my point is that it's a group that provide existential threats to vampiredom if it's Infernalists or Methueselahs or people who have no respect for the Masquerade. Occassionally, people get thrown in here for political reasons.

                          My opinion is Theo Bell would be a candidate but they'd more likely just send an Assamite or Justicar after him.


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

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

                            Basically, my point is that it's a group that provide existential threats to vampiredom if it's Infernalists or Methueselahs or people who have no respect for the Masquerade. Occassionally, people get thrown in here for political reasons.

                            My opinion is Theo Bell would be a candidate but they'd more likely just send an Assamite or Justicar after him.
                            The Red List is and always has been something the Camarilla used to get rid of people their didn't like for reason ranging from legitimate to extremely petty. The very first red lister (Kemintiri) was the reason the Red List was created and she was put there because she killed a few Ventrue elders and impersonated them, which made a faction of the Ventrue Clan feel vulnerable, humiliated and clamor for retribution.

                            Theo Bell on the other hand killed the person who founded the Camarilla, during a Conclave when everyone was watching, broke a whole clan out of the sect and on top of that it did all of this being an high ranking Camarilla officer, so privy to secrets and to the inner workings of the sect. If the Ventrue had the Red List crerated because a few of their elders had been killed and impersonated what would they do when one of their most renowned (if not the most renowned) leaders was killed in front of everyone making the Camarilla and their clan look weak and incapable of dealing with the perpetrator? What about the risk some other archons or a few licks start to do the same because the Camarilla and the Ventrue clan were obviously too weak and disorganized to deal retribution to a former Archon who killed the founder of the sect? Can the "all new all powerful Camarilla" afford to start its new incarnation with such a shameful debacle?

                            Honestly, in light of the facts as presented the way you try to ignore these facts and try to pass what Theo did as something that could be easily ignored or dealt with by hiring some killer makes no sense and this even before the notion that, post killing Hardestadt, Theo Bell is supposed to be some sort of mediator trusted by the Camarilla to resolve tensions with the Anarchs.

                            The point you seem to miss is the gravity of what Theo did is connected to who he killed (the founder of the Camarilla itself), how he did it (at a Conclave when everyone that was someone in the Camarilla was present making them look like weak fools), the consequences of the act (the Brujah clan left en mass) and who Theo was (an Archon, an officer and war hero of the Camarilla privy to the inner workings of the sect). Even Tyler did not do something so blatant, in fact more likely than not she's not on the RL because almost no one knows Hardestadt the Elder was killed by her! On the other hand Theo killed Hardestadt the younger in front of everyone! Therefore it should be impossible for a sect of vampires working as the Camarilla does and including the Ventrue clan to ignore Theo's actions and even treat him as a trusty mediator!

                            P.S.

                            Your examples of people who should have been put on the Red List are flawed: you mention groups of people (the whole Brujah council, the Anarch rebels who took part in the French Revolution...) but the Red List works for individual kindred and never more than 13. Sabbat leaders who didn't need to be put there because the Camarilla was at war with them already (in order to be put on the List they would have needed to do something that offended one of the powers that be in the Camarilla, like Pataniqua did). Two of the Methuselahs you mention could theoretically be put on the list although their sheer power and the fact they commanded (and command) armies would make the point moot. The only way the Camarilla could deal with Ur-Shulgi is by an act of war on the Assamite clan not by putting a bounty on its head (and no, Theo does not command an army, it's rather explicit he trying to pass himself as just another anarch). In the case of Vitel the Camarilla did sanction his destruction and it was carried out by... Theo Bell!
                            Jeremy McNeil caused the rebellion that put the Anarchs in command of the Free State but the Anarchs were still part of the Camarilla, he could have been put on the Red List for sure but he did nothing comparable to what Theo did, as for Salvador... you yourself note how he might very well be delusional.

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                            • #44
                              The Anarchs of the Free State were not considered part of the Camarilla by either the Free Staters or the Camarilla since the Camarilla had plans to annihilate them with the Nosferatu Justicar.

                              Frankly, I disagree that Theo Bell would be on the Red List. I'm sorry you don't feel my arguments have weight.

                              But basically, I don't think Hardelstadt is a figure that's universally beloved or likely to inspire the outrage you're saying it would.


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

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Haquim View Post
                                Can the "all new all powerful Camarilla" afford to start its new incarnation with such a shameful debacle?
                                They can sure as hell use it as the catalyst to become that all new all powerful Camarilla. "Hey, yeah, so we've needed to get rid of those mohawk-wearing intellectually-degenerate creatures who call themselves the Learned Clan for a while so we could finally be the elite, looks like we have our chance. Let's kinda de-prioritise killing Bell so he'll keep the Brujah away from us, alright?"

                                Well, that's if you want to go with that as one option. I'd basically recommend "if you can have some deeper conspiratorial reason for Bell still being alive after that stunt, go nuts, but otherwise that sort of high-treasonous bullshit wouldn't fly."

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