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  • #16
    Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
    I think this is more relevant for V5, though. Grumpy RPG Reviews will hopefully join in.
    I will be late. For one thing, I don't have the book. For another, I need to finish my WIR of the V5 Camarilla. Thank you for the invite, though.

    Originally posted by No One of Consequence View Post
    (No word yet if we are at war with Eurasia or Eastasia.)
    Well, I hope that is announced soon. I know we've always been at war with one of them.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post

      I will be late. For one thing, I don't have the book. For another, I need to finish my WIR of the V5 Camarilla. Thank you for the invite, though.
      I look forward to your next entry.

      Really enjoying that. I hope you do the Camarilla as well.


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

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      • #18
        Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
        Mind you, we do live in a time with secret prisons, massive Orwellian observation, and corporate-megachurch-political alliances. Conspiracy is both the order of the day and ridiculous.
        Back in the 90s, journalist Michael Kelly coined the phrase "fusion paranoia" to describe that decade's phenomenon of various conspiracy theories of the far right and far left - the NWO and Military Industrial Complex, etc. - seeming to merge together into a single weird tangle shared by people all over the political spectrum. The often convoluted mythology of the X-Files drew on a lot of this. And I think it was James Lileks who once quipped that the single greatest argument against conspiracy theories is just how completely incompetent governments and corporations tend to be at even the things they're supposed to be doing.


        What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
        Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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        • #19
          Originally posted by No One of Consequence View Post
          Back in the 90s, journalist Michael Kelly coined the phrase "fusion paranoia" to describe that decade's phenomenon of various conspiracy theories of the far right and far left - the NWO and Military Industrial Complex, etc. - seeming to merge together into a single weird tangle shared by people all over the political spectrum. The often convoluted mythology of the X-Files drew on a lot of this. And I think it was James Lileks who once quipped that the single greatest argument against conspiracy theories is just how completely incompetent governments and corporations tend to be at even the things they're supposed to be doing.
          Running Government Conspiracy Right in V5

          This actually is something that has a direct relevance to the Second Inquisition and the Camarilla as a whole. I grew up in Kentucky as part of a state blue blood (grass?) family before 2008 wiped out most of the family fortune. One of the things I'm deeply familiar with is the kind of behind-the-scenes double-dealing that goes on between corporate as well as government authorities. I got a firsthand look at a lot of the propaganda, conspiracy, and stuff that's meant to keep the people in power and it can be some scary stuff.

          * Organized crime's role in real estate. Both local and national syndicates.
          * Voter suppression
          * Corporate propaganda and kickbacks
          * Outright lying about political initiatives ("right to work" being an anti-union initiative)
          * Fake churches that are actually corporations and lobbying groups

          It's all fascinating stuff that is wonderful fodder for your typical Camarilla, Technocracy, and Pentex game. It also gives me a kind of sense that the MachineTM is not actually as inefficient or ineffectual as people may think. Individuals may be massive screw-ups but it's a lot harder to stop the bureaucratic inertia of HOW THINGS ARE DONEtm than people may think even if it's exposed or illegal.

          What does this have to do with the Second Inquisition and Camarilla? What it means is basically you as the Storyteller have to decide just how competent both conspiracies are in the World of Darkness. How competent is the US government's anti-vampire alliance of Senators, CIA spooks, NSA codecrackers, and vampire hunting Special Forces versus the Camarilla's Elders? One of the things 1st Edition and 2nd Edition thrived on was the idea the Camarilla had an iron grip on the world's institutions and were effectively untouchable. There was a strong sense that humanity was too apathetic and cattle-like to strike back. It was similar to the Anarchs being stupid children who couldn't get anything done and were the vampire equivalent of entitled Millennials (which may be with the fact they're in the 20s and 30s why the "out of touch Boomer" is now the Elder stereotype).

          One of the major themes of V5 is that both the humans and Anarchs were a lot more on the ball than the Camarilla gave them credit for as well as the latter being far less competent than they appeared. Indeed, the Second Inquisition is repeatedly stated as being the Camarilla's fault despite their repeatedly angry Trumpian denials or deflections (even blaming the Anarchs or Sabbat in a serious case of projection). However, they may have gone a bit too far in it by making the Camarilla look foolish and incompetent rather than just less capable. If nothing else vampire Elders, with rare exceptions like Modius, are the beneficiaries of a Social Darwinist Natural Section that would make the Dark Lords of the Sith proud. If you live to be 400 years old in vampire society, you are a grandmaster of the GameTM.

          Simultaneously, the Second Inquisition appears to have benefited a bit too much from being on GodModeTM. Humanity striking back is certainly something I appreciate and I believe that humanity being able to destroy vampiredom is something that should be emphasized. However, it feels like they are far too united and far too competent versus what has been established before. I also don't feel like what we've seen described fits with what we know about the vampires they've supposedly overcome.

          I feel like we need a complete failure of epic proportions for the Second Inquisition to be canonical in the game. Something akin to the level of losses that the vampire race has shown to make it look less like they're winning by narrative fiat. I have no problem whatsoever with the Second Inquisition dropping a bunch of hellfire missiles or stealth bomber assaults on Alamut or the Tremere Chantry or other major sites. In fact, canonically, hitting Alamut and burying Ur-Shulgi seems like a natural thing to happen. The Camarilla giving its location to the US military seems like a thing they'd even do with Al-Asharad's help.

          However, I feel like if they DIDN'T just drop a bomb on the Tremere Chantry that it would be a colossal failure. I can't really get behind, "A bunch of Navy SEALs assaulted the Tremere Chantry and beheaded the Council of Seven." I feel like there should be, "And they went into the castle and were never seen again." Also, something like Skyfall where there's a mass firing of MI6 personnel after a terrorist attack and budget cuts that show the Camarilla going after the Second Inquisition as a whole agency. Because if the vampires don't look competent then what game are we playing?

          It's kind of like Star Wars. The Empire isn't nearly as awesome as an enemy to overcome if they don't strike back and vice versa. The Camarilla should be hindered by its corruption, the elder's lack of experience with technology, it's infighting, and over-reliance on magic versus modern institution. However, the SI's ignorance of the supernatural, arrogance, own infighting, and need for secrecy should be a danger to it that can be exploited.
          Last edited by CTPhipps; 11-28-2019, 05:12 AM.


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

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          • #20
            Project: Twilight Opening Fiction

            "Alley Tag"


            Type: Fiction

            Our first introduction to the Project: Twilight sourcebook is a piece of in-universe fiction to give a sense of what the life of a SAD agent is. Vanessa Platt is a former NYPD detective that is a black woman that has since taken a job with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. She's investigating a murder where the body was torn to shreds in a way that looks like an animal attack. He's a member of the Young Bloods (from The Hunters Hunted) and is the third member of the gang to be slaughtered in a short span of time.

            Vanessa finds the NYPD to be less than interested in finding out who the killers are because, like real life cops, they don't care about violence being done to people involved in organized crime by others. They are just happy to let the Young Bloods get slaughtered and move on. This is a nice little explanation how the Masquerade gets maintained in the WOD as the kind of people who die in gang wars.

            Anyway, Vanessa manages to find out that a Bone Gnawer sept called the Circus Lupus is responsible for the massacre of the Young Bloods. The Young Bloods were working for Magadon Drugs to intimidate and murder the Bone Gnawer's kinfolk as well as protectees. The Circus Lupus has a public identity as a Guardian Angels-esque group that is cleaning up the streets of New York one bit at a time. She attempts to arrest them, only for the werewolves to invoke the Delerium on her and leave her completely nonplussed.

            Vanessa then attempts to arrest the Young Bloods and gets equal bad results, only to be rescued by the Circus Lupus who tell her to politely stay out of their business. Vanessa is hospitalized and ends up reporting that the Young Bloods are ghouls but leaves out the truth regarding Circus Lupus. This gets her in trouble with her superior, Fiske who is (as we learn later) a Pentex stooge. She also gets bailed out by Regional Director Crowe (who we find out later is a kinfolk).

            It leaves her a lot to think about who is the good and who is the bad guy.

            Review: Alley Tag is an interesting "boots on the ground view" of the World of Darkness. The conflict is a fairly one-sided one of a bunch of ghouls versus a bunch of werewolves. I don't even think the Young Bloods know enough to have any silver bullets. However, Vanessa poses a potential threat to both groups as the Young Bloods are a group that can actually be taken down with conventional gunfire. Mind you, I'd bring in SWAT and about forty other cops but while they may take a few more rounds than your typical human, ghouls can and are killed by regular people. You can arrest the Young Bloods even and if you hold them for thirty days then they'll become no different than any other human or even die of withdrawal.

            The Circus Lupus are Bone Gnawers so they don't have as much to lose from the SAD but they're maintaining a public persona and organization to better the city of New York (this is before Giuliani kicked out all the poor people in Manhattan after all). A Federal agent can destroy their mundane front and make life incredibly hard for their Kinfolk too. In the end, Vanessa doesn't accomplish much and is ignored by both sides with no appreciable affect to their gang war (that the Circus Lupus decidedly win). However, the book establishes something that gets overlooked: Vanessa now has another piece of information that has been added to the SAD--that the Young Bloods Motorcyle Club is a bunch of ghouls. When and if they feel so inclined, they can come down on them like a hammer for all the reasons a Federal investigation can: drugs, guns, murder, RICO, and so on.

            They don't because the Young Bloods last until The Hunters Hunted II and start keeping vampires as prisoners to feed on but that doesn't mean they can't. It also shows the SAD is aware as a "boots on the ground" view that the supernatural is not necessarily black and white. I also like this piece of fiction because it highlights being a black woman in both the NYPD and FBI hasn't been sunshine and roses for Vanessa.

            Too bad we never see her again.
            Last edited by CTPhipps; 11-29-2019, 03:15 AM.


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

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            • #21
              I hope the Young Bloods are still around in some capacity in V5. They would make for an interesting group of hunters.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post
                I hope the Young Bloods are still around in some capacity in V5. They would make for an interesting group of hunters.
                They are a group that could easily show the darker side of the Second Inquisition as Outlaw MCs are not nearly as romantic or fun as fiction depict them as being: being often associated with meth, white supremacy [or other racist leanings depending on the gang], and sexual assault. Having the Second Inquisition use them as a bunch of blood addicted catspaws to sniff out vampires in an area while covering up their crimes or letting them loose no matter what they do is a valid story hook.

                The Hunters Hunted II showed how to do a fairly sympathetic story involving a vampire by having the Young Bloods keeping an innocent-ish one as a slave that is slowly being broken by their experiences.

                The Young Bloods are also something that could easily be updated as motorcycle gangs are not usually small groups anymore, especially outlaw ones. They're often national networks with hundreds (and sometimes thousands of networks) forming full blown criminal conspiracies. While there's not enough vampire blood to go around for that, even if it's cut with other drugs, you could have a much larger Young Bloods gang that has its inner circle as vampire blood junkies.

                While humans are rarely as bad as vampires in the WoD, the Young Bloods certainly are among those who can qualify as they'd make excellent Sabbat (and probably ate whoever planned on doing that to them).
                Last edited by CTPhipps; 11-29-2019, 10:30 AM.


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

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                • #23
                  Introduction: In Defense of the Realm

                  We open up with the quote "there only thing to fear is fear itself" by Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Which is an interesting quote given that eventually we would be facing the Axis under his reign and this is a chapter about facing very real monsters.

                  We then also have the quote "I believe there are more instances of abridgements of freedom by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpation." This by James Madison. The two quotes basically showing the themes of the book that the government has the potential to fight vampires and other monsters better than any other force on the planet but also that it can become every bit as bad as the monsters it fights.

                  The chapter then goes into discussion about how the traditional World of Darkness is depicted as a place where humans are utterly helpless against supernaturals. It even makes the often quoted (and incredibly inaccurate) view that homo sapiens destroyed the neanderthals. It says that in the face of such superior beings that humanity should be almost certainly doomed. This is, of course, just a set up for establishing that the supernatural is actually dramatically underpowered in the face of humanity. It states that as powerful as the Technocracy, Camarilla, and Pentex are--all three of them are dwarfed by the resources of the United States government. It also establishes that the supernatural is better known among the world's governments than most supernaturals suspect.

                  "Very few in the government know of the threat posed by these supposedly fictitious beings. Those who do, however, are aware of the turmoil that would erupt should knowledge of their existence become widely accepted. If the supernatural were to become the natural in the public mind, the government fears the result would be nothing less than the total disintegration of all existing structures. They may be right."

                  "The government thus believes it has no choice but to engage in a campaign of deception and misidrection to cover up the existence of these beings, becoming a de facto ally to the very creatures it fears. At the same time, though, it has launched (especially in the last three years) an ambitious plan to gather information with the hope it will someday have the power to curb, or perhaps even control, these entities."


                  I love this particular passage as it pretty much does set up the Second Inquisition and shows the attitude that is based in it. It also states that the Technocracy and Camarilla have noticed this and done their best to protect the government (particularly the US government) against the Garou, Anarchs, and Sabbat. It furthermore states that "Project: Twilight" or Superhuman Equation (SHE) are the nicknames used by the government to deal with these occult forces. The Twilight is a reference to the Twilight Zone and how agents feel about it.

                  Furthermore, it goes on to talk about how all government agencies that deal with the supernatural are "Black Book" funded by the Senate with no knowledge about how the money is actually being spent. This is Pre-9/11 and it's interesting to speculate just how much people thought the paralegal and military budgets involved in this would be affected by the War on Terror.

                  The chapter ends with the statement that part of the problem is that the government is not very good at analyzing data, that agencies compete with one another, and they're inherently conservative with conflicts against one another. All of this, again, pre-9/11. It also states that the government in the World of Darkness is even more corrupt and ruthless than its harshest critics (apparently the writers never predicted 4chan or Reddit). It does state that the USA is still a democracy (of sorts--literally, they add the rider there) and responds to its citizens cries for justice (a bit). So that it is a potential vastly powerful weapon against the supernaturals.

                  Theme

                  The government (or more precisely, Project: Twilight) is basically a conspiracy the same as the Camarilla and Technocracy. The gamebook highlights that unlike most games where you're plucky rebels, you're definitely the authority in this game and that utterly changes your perspective. You are part of a secret cabal and not so different than your enemies so it's very good to see what the real difference between you and the monsters is.

                  Mood

                  Unsurprisingly, the mood is paranoia (though they use discovery--they actually describe paranoia) and how everything the PCs discover about the supernatural will slowly unravel their sense of sanity and safety. The supernatural is EVERYWHERE in the World of Darkness and the more you know, the less safe you are and the more it effects your daily life. A bit like Call of Cthulhu, eventually a government agent will go so far that they no longer relate to regular human beings at all and will be indistinguishable from an agent of the Camarilla or NWO.
                  Last edited by CTPhipps; 11-29-2019, 01:14 PM.


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

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                  • #24
                    Introduction Review: This is a good introduction and answers some inherent questions about the World of Darkness. The government isn't as ignorant as people think it is but almost all of its greatest minds are of the belief that the public is better kept ignorant than informed. There's a sense of anti-democratic elitism inherent to a lot of the corrupted forces in the government and that is directly tied to the conservatism inherent to authoritarian institutions.

                    In other words, this is a Punk game and of course the authorities are the "bad" guys. One of the things I like about this gamebok is the fact that you could easily have the Cigarette Smoking Man and the rest of the villains from the X-Files as not supernaturals at all but just a bunch of Mundane mortal conspirators that are trying to keep the supernatural out of the public eye.

                    One of the things that this book highlights is that the mortals are engaged in exactly the same sort of conspiracy, corruption, and backstabbing that the supernaturals are--just on a smaller scale. It reminds me of the fan-made Illuminati: The Conspiracy sourcebook where the humans do have their own faction in the WoD.

                    http://vampirerpg.free.fr/Rules/Illuminati.html


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

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                    • #25
                      Government, Cover Ups, and the Masquerade Adventure Hooks

                      1. A pair of famous Washington Post reporters are murdered and their bodies dumped in the river. People are talking, wondering what happened, and the PCs are put on the trail. They assume it was a Kindred covering things up. Instead, they find a FBI agent being framed for child porn and suicidally holed up in a motel with his family against him. He and a couple of friends tried to blow the whistle on the SI and they're coming down on them hard. They don't have mind-control either.

                      2. The player characters are stunned to find that they are being contacted by the Guardian. The Guardian reporter is one of a number of reporters contacted by a Second Inquisition contractor who wants to blow the whistle on the Masquerade. Most of them have already contacted their masters in the Camarilla, Pentex, and the Technocracy but these want to do something else. They'd like to sell the name of the whistleblower to the player characters and their bosses for $$$. If not, they'll go public with it. It falls upon the player to deal with these would-be blackmailers and find their source to either turn or kill them.

                      3. The Second Inquisition is completely exposed and the results are terrible. The government is investigating vampires and spending huge amounts of money. It becomes a national scandal but the rest of the SI immediately cuts ties with the exposed parts. The evidence is disappeared and they do as much damage control as possible. It is soon treated the equivalent of Project: Stargate and Ewan McGreggor is hired to do a movie about it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Me...at_Goats_(film)

                      4. Podcasts begin talking at great length about government internment camps, vampires, secret alliances with the government. What follows is Joseph Peterson and several other vampire kingpins working overtime with Marcus Vitel to create a glut of "fake news" to confuse the issue. Is it a secret project to control terrorists? Biological weapons? Human experimentation? Transhuman experiments by Peter Thiel? The outrageous lies drown out the truth and make it far harder to discren which is made up and not. Even the Second Inquisition is starting to get confused as massive number of people are gaslit. Can the PCs find the sources of the original rumors?

                      5. The player characters receive a once in a lifetime offer from the Second Inquisition. They represent a faction called the "Watchmen" who want to keep the existence of the supernatural secret. The player characters would be granted "immunity" as long as they helped use their powers to help cover up the issue and possibly influence politicians to their other political ends. They view vampires as equivalent to terrorists and drug cartels--horrible evil people but people that can be used and made deals with. Can the players trust these CIA spooks and NSA goons or will they try to turn the tables?

                      6. The player characters are contacted by executives of Pentex Incorporated (or probably one of its larger subsidiaries like Endron Oil, Magadon, or Kitsune News). They are upset about the Second Inquisition sniffing around their activities and want to make an alliance to shut it down. Their solution is a relatively simple one: throw massive amounts of money at it to get the agencies involved defunded and re-organized so the SI is forced underground or to disband. It requires one thing to help find the people involved: selling the souls of innocents and black magic.

                      7. The Camarilla wants the player characters to use an Alex Jones-esque figure with a massive internet and social media reach to learn about the Second Inquisitions then spread it around. This is all before the player characters will then reveal that his sources are completely uncredible and he'll have some horrifying personal secret (being a sex criminal or mass embezzler). This plan might have worked in the age of the Fourth Estate being a respectable institution but could result in a massive masquerade bread instead since conspiracy theorists can claim the "Deep State" is after him.

                      8. The Second Inquisition is exposed so a lie of epic proportions is required. The Second Inquisition thus claims that there's been a massive spread of biological warfare around the world by terrorists and carriers for this super-flu were arrested around the world. They were taken away to secret camps and watched die. Some people attempt to spread the truth but which is more plausible? Many SI members will have to go to jail, people will serve lifetime sentences, and there will be many Senate hearings but it explains the kidnappings, secret prisoners, and mobilization of scientists across the globe.

                      9. The Second Inquisition has access to advanced hedge magic technology that is above what normal human beings do. Items from the Technocratic Union, Pentex fetishes, psychics, and the Arcanum are in their service. This includes a dozen people with Low Level Dominate (Level 1-3) that includes a few free Revenants and Thin Bloods. They don't need many of them since the government can arrest people, ship them off to a blacksite, and then have them brainwashed.

                      10. It turns out it's not that difficult for people without superpowers to cover up the supernatural. Threats of violence, money, non-discolure agreements, appeals to patriotism, blackmail, and false arrests have done an amazing job of sealing leaks in the SI.


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

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                      • #26
                        How much people should know about the supernatural has always been a struggle for me. On the one hand, the World of Darkness can only work if the masses of people don't know about the supernatural. One the other, the population and activities of the supernatural factions are so much that any large bureaucratic government should have some knowledge. At the same time, outright acceptance of the supernatural by the government would lead to an unrecognizable world.

                        So I settled on a Delta Green style of conspiracy. There are agencies like the SAD where possible paranormal cases are dumped, but there is a secret conspiracy outside of that which does the real work. The major reason it is secret is that those who work in it know that their supernatural enemies have agents - ghouls, cultists, what have you - in the government, and if they raise their head too high, it'll be cut off.

                        Besides the SAD, I also have various government projects like Stephen King's The Shop based on various conspiracy and real world lore (MK Ultra, Remote Viewing, etc.). But like the SAD, they serve more as recruiting grounds for the DG style conspiracy.

                        So I steal a lot from the various Hunter books, but scale it to my needs and reinterpret things.

                        And in a greater WoD perspective, the secret conspiracy would be a project indirectly supported and monitored by the Technocracy.

                        In terms of my own chronicles, I want hunters to be better prepared and more of a threat than they were portrayed in the Second/Third edition eras, but not to the extent they seem to be in V5 (which I have not personally read).

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                          As a result, vampires dismiss the Society of Leopold's threat because only a handful of vampires get killed every year by them. So the vampires think they're ineffective.
                          In my chronicles, this is one of the thing that distinguishes between the Camarilla and Sabbat. The Camarilla is pretty good at keeping out of the sight of the Society of Leopold because of their Humanity and Masquerade plus lots of Influence. Most Camarilla vampires' pstyle of reying on mankind doesn't generate enough noise to attract notice. So maybe only a few Camarilla vampires die every year from them. But the Sabbat's blatant inhumanity, their obvious violations of the Masquerade, and lack of mortal influence to cover it up is like a flag to the bull. The Society kills dozens, maybe hundreds every year - even wiping out entire packs and covens. These tend to be neonates and not elders, which is one reason there isn't many ancillae among the Sabbat.

                          Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                          the Shadowlands (which I assume they think is hell--and technically is)
                          The most likely Catholic interpretation of the Shadowlands is that it is a kind of purgatory. If they've ever made contact with the Labyrinth though, they'd probably think that was Hell.

                          Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                          The Society of Leopold also knows how to cultivate true faith with its austere lifestyle, "proof" of God, and sense of holy purpose. Only 1/3rd to 1/5th of Society Inquisitors (note: boots on the ground) have True Faith but that's enough.
                          I've had trouble with the standard WoD's take on True Faith. I understand and support the idea that True Faith should be restricted. I even understand that a lot of modern day priests, chaplains, ministers, etc. don't have it. But IMO almost everyone involved in the Society of Leopold should have True Faith, although limited to low levels. Simply put, if someone can't hold back a vampire by holding up a cross (which requires some amount of True Faith), then that person shouldn't be in the Society of Leopold, and it would be a pretty bad character concept to begin with. Very few inquisitors should be able to perform higher miracles (True Faith at levels 6 and above), but lower levels should be common.

                          I also believe it is a fine concept for a member of the Society of Leopold to lose Faith and question God after seeing so much supernatural evil. But those burned out members should be taken out of the field and allowed to recuperate while they have their Dark Night of the Soul.

                          It is for this reason that I was disappointed by how Dark Ages: Vampire basically presented the medieval era as being identical to the modern setting in terms of faith. Both for historical and for setting differentiation reasons, I always thought a True Faith of 1 should be the default for the Dark Ages setting. There should also be plenty of people without any True Faith, but the default assumption should be that people actually believe. The idea that people in the Middle Ages didn't have more faith than people today is simply wrong. And if you are worried about everyone being a saint doing miracles, then it's just a matter of keeping the True Faith rating low.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
                            How much people should know about the supernatural has always been a struggle for me. On the one hand, the World of Darkness can only work if the masses of people don't know about the supernatural. One the other, the population and activities of the supernatural factions are so much that any large bureaucratic government should have some knowledge. At the same time, outright acceptance of the supernatural by the government would lead to an unrecognizable world.

                            So I settled on a Delta Green style of conspiracy. There are agencies like the SAD where possible paranormal cases are dumped, but there is a secret conspiracy outside of that which does the real work. The major reason it is secret is that those who work in it know that their supernatural enemies have agents - ghouls, cultists, what have you - in the government, and if they raise their head too high, it'll be cut off.

                            Besides the SAD, I also have various government projects like Stephen King's The Shop based on various conspiracy and real world lore (MK Ultra, Remote Viewing, etc.). But like the SAD, they serve more as recruiting grounds for the DG style conspiracy.

                            So I steal a lot from the various Hunter books, but scale it to my needs and reinterpret things.

                            And in a greater WoD perspective, the secret conspiracy would be a project indirectly supported and monitored by the Technocracy.

                            In terms of my own chronicles, I want hunters to be better prepared and more of a threat than they were portrayed in the Second/Third edition eras, but not to the extent they seem to be in V5 (which I have not personally read).
                            My interpretation of the WOD is influenced by Mage: The Ascension and Vampire with my belief there's a "buffer zone" between the Muggles and the Supernaturals of the world that thinks its more relevant than players think it is. It's actually backed up a lot by canon but it was more a thing in Requiem than in V5 or Classic VTM. Groups like the Technocracy, Pentex, or Camarilla recruit "aware" people into the SAD, Shop, Project: Valkyrie, and various other secret conspiracies or organizations. These organizations are really just fronts for the Technocracy or Camarilla's activities. However, the DNA's corporation or Pentex's First Teams LOOK like they're working against the supernatural from the inside.

                            It's like the second layer of the Matrix. The people who won't fit into the first layer are threats but if you let them think they've escaped, you can take care of them as well. There should be an entire secret division of the CIA that is monitoring the movements of werewolves and eco-terrorism that gets special shots that blind them to the Delerium and believe they answer to a secret branch of the Joint Chiefs' office--that is ACTUALLY Petranodon.

                            That's how these guys WORK.

                            The question is whether the Second Inquisition is whether Project: Twilight has broken free of its masters due to chaos at the top level or whether it's answering to someone who wants to prune the vampire race en masse. In my game, for example, Marcus Vitel is actually responsible for the Second Inquisition more than anyone else. Because he wants to trigger his own version of Gehenna.
                            Last edited by CTPhipps; 11-30-2019, 06:56 PM.


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

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                            • #29
                              My take away is that while the mass of humanity doesn't know or understand the truth about any of the supernatural, there is a general subconscious awareness of unnatural dangers and of the existence of predators among them. This is why the entire culture skews more toward general xenophobia than the real world; any outsider or stranger might be a potential threat, even if you aren't consciously aware of your own fear.


                              What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                              Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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                              • #30
                                NPC’s who were somebody’s Herd dots or members of the Blood Doll subculture when the first edition of Vampire launched would be in their late middle age years or early retirement now. It’s striking to me that chatter from loose-lipped mortals who did know about the supernatural never comes up when we talk about how the SI got off the ground.

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