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  • #31
    Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
    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.
    A perfectly valid interpretation of the Inquisition and something that fits with the fact the Sabbat live in predominately Catholic-dominated areas and absolutely despise the Catholic Church. Mind you, the smart Inquisitors are the people who burn down Sabbat haunts during the daytime and don't actively engage them. They are also subject to massacres and mass attacks on their flocks in revenge--which is another reason why they probably have lots of support.

    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.
    Mind you, that's where all the demons are imprisoned.

    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'm inclined to think there's a difference between those who believe in God versus active channeling of it. It's why True Faith is a Numina you have to buy like a Discipline in my games (x5 cost). I also note that True Faith is a lot more common than people think because of churches serve as faith "pools."

    Originally posted by No One of Consequence View Post
    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.
    The thing that the past 20 years has taught me is that the World of Darkness struggles hard to be worse than this one for prejudice, pollution, and corruption.

    Originally posted by Reasor View Post
    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.
    I stated over in another thread that if I was to choose any incident that broke the Masquerade fully and ended the government's willful blindness to the supernatural then it would probably be the Sabbat Crusade in the Clan Novels. After all, the Sabbat had vzhod moving up and down the East Coast of the United States. They took over Washington D.C. and Marcus Vitel was killed soon after. Well, driven into torpor.

    The thing is that the CAMARILLA didn't have control over the United States intelligence agencies. The PRINCE OF WASHINGTON D.C. had control over the intelligence agencies for the Camarilla, which is a bit like Westeros. While Sascha Vykos could take over the former holdings of Vitel, it's questionable whether they'd have the inclination or insight to bring them under her wing quick enough to deal with the fallout from the East Coast Crusade.

    As for the Blood Dolls, I'm inclined to think that Goth subculture has never really died out in the WOD due to the fact it is meant to be dark and poetic sort of place. But yes, Chicago by Night 5E talks about how there's at least plenty of now middle-aged soccer mom types that are interested in looking up old friends on Facebook. That is a potential big masquerade risk that someone like Portia or Brett Stryker isn't going to see coming.
    Last edited by CTPhipps; 11-30-2019, 08:53 PM.


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

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    • #32
      Chapter Two: Character Creation

      Character creation is a fairly straight forward process from V1 to V20 and this is no exception. Project: Twilight characters are humans, obviously, so they have less Attributes, Skills, and so on. The big difference is that Project: Twilight characters are expected to have a lot more influence and pull than their typical human character.

      New Knowledge Abilities

      * Covert Culture: Basically, the skill of Spycraft and how much you know about things like the CIA, KGB, FBI, and other organizations. This doesn't help you against the supernatural groups of the world but allows you to manipulate, plan, and predict other agencies.

      Backgrounds

      Allies, Contacts, and Influence are very appropriate ones for this kind of character. So is Resources, though most government agents aren't rich.

      * Backers: One of Fox Mulders early episodes was the fact that he had covert support of several Senators. This allows you to draw from secret friends either in the government, other agencies, or even the supernatural groups you fight.

      * Equipment: There's no point in being a supernatural spy if you don't have access to Q gadgets. In reality, these are more likely things like nightvision goggles and high-end laptops or other stuff that you can't buy on the open market. This, of course, was before Amazon.com and a bunch of Mall Ninja-esque stores existed so you could outfit yourself like a Navy SEAL even if you never served a day in your life.

      * Favors: The same way with the Camarilla. Favors exist to be traded in the intelligence world.

      * Rank: The gift that keeps on giving in the United States military and agencies, Rank allows you the ability to requisition staff, resources, equipment, and order other people around. It also comes with a certain level of operational freedom but also people who watch you more closely.

      Numina

      True Faith

      Some government agents are devoutly religious and can call upon that faith as a weapon against the supernatural. Unfortunately, that can backfire against them as the moral corruption and compromises inherent in spywork are probably going to erode the faith of most. However, the existence of supernatural evil might actually inspire many back that might be hurt by discovering "godless commies" is more likely the leadership than the rank and file of the Cold War.

      Psychic Powers

      John W. Campbell was a great believer in psychic abilities and famously altered the course of science fiction for decades. The editor of Astounding Science Fiction spent decades doing his best to promote the concept of "psionics" and published just about any story that involved it. Psychic powers, as far as I know, don't exist but neither do vampires. In the World of Darkness, however, they exist and the government has access to more than anyone else in the setting.

      Generally, my handling on the subject is the psychics of the world were created by the Technocracy via the Progenitors and are "really" just a form of hedge magic that they wanted to introduce as a way to gain access to Foci-less magick as well as perhaps explain why Order of Hermes mages can throw lightning in a demonstrably impossible fashion without breaking their mages' conditioning.

      Hundreds of bloodlines were experimented on and the results were useful but ultimately not something they chose to incorporate into the mainstream Paradigm. It made things too easy for the Traditionalists to explain away their own magic. However, in this reality, Project: Stargate was probably not a complete failure. We also know Pentex picked up right where the Technocracy left off, making their own horde of agents who are unwittingly hastening the end of the world. A non-mage or Pentex-based origin could be vampire-blood passed down through ghouls or people uneducated in magical potential or just, since Anne Rice is the heart of many vampires, just a thing some bloodlines have. I leave that up to STs, this is just my conclusion.

      Either way, the government has access to psychics and probably quite a lot of them. Not so much that they can make an army of them but probably enough that in this conspiracy-filled world you'll have a few schools for them and people in buildings going over keys, murder weapons, and so on for clues. New Numina like Animal PSI, Psychometry, Anti-Psi, and Pyrokinsis for your Stephen King-esque needs are provided.

      Hedge Magic

      The government has access to people who believe in supernatural forces and practice ritual magic but generally draws no distinction between it and psychic abilities. It's more comfortable with a pseudoscience approach to the supernatural than an actual occult. That is why the magic they're most likely to have is Divination (Tarot cards and remote viewing) even though it falls under Hedge magic instead. Native Americans are highlighted as the sort of people the government would probably consult on matters of actual spiritualism.

      A bit racist and probably a bit accurate for the government of the time period (which was a bit racist).

      Merits and Flaws

      Some really solid ones that reflect you live in a different world than the rest of humanity.

      * Manchurian Candidate (5pt Flaw): Your character is brainwashed by vampires, the Technocracy, or some other force (like the CIA) that they can take over your mind at will. I find this to be a very fascinating sort of flaw and one of the best to potentially have.

      * Paranoia (2pt flaw): Just because they're out to get you, doesn't mean you're not paranoid.

      * Siege Mentality (3pt flaw): One of my favorite flaws, you're basically a parody of a hardcore Republican conservative who believes in their Agency above anything else. You hate civilians, you hate oversight, and you cover up for your fellows even when you probably shouldn't. Police brutality and "getting it done" are all part of the job. Sadly, this one is all too true.

      * Garou Kinfolk and Unknowing Garou Kinfolk (4pt merit and 2pt merit): Pretty much what the merit says. You're a Garou Kinfolk who works for the government or unwittingly someone with Garou blood in your veins. It provides immunity to the Delerium.

      * Wyrm Tainted (4pt flaw): Maybe you got your psychic powers from Magadon Drugs being given to your mother as a baby. Maybe you are unknowingly Black Spiral Dancer kinfolk. Maybe you are actually a worshiper of the Dark Lord Satan. Maybe you just use Magadon aftershave or are THAT much of an evil sonofabitch. But the Garou sense you are pure evil. They will probably just straight up murder you.

      * Agency Insider (3pt merit): You are part of the in-crowd at your agency and everyone likes you. Which is, of course, perfect if you're a traitor.

      * Agency Outsider (3pt flaw): You work in the basement and everyone thinks you're a crackpot. Don't expect much support from your employers.

      * Blackmailed (1pt to 2pt flaw): Everyone has secrets in intelligence and yours could ruin your career. These could be relatively innocous like having an affair that will destroy your marriage or being gay in the 90s to the fact you're a murderer or working for the Kindred.

      * Dangerous Secret (2pt flaw): Pretty much something akin to the above except it hasn't been found out yet.

      * Debts (3pt flaw): Another thing the FBI and other groups frown on is a large amount of money owed someone either shady or otherwise. Maybe your daughter has cancer. Maybe you're a chronic gambler. Maybe you just have expensive tastes. Either way, the vampires and Pentex can help you with that. You can't take the Resources background and you lose your existing salary.

      * Double Identity (2pt merit): This is a fun one. You've managed to create an entirely separate persona from your current one that you can theoretically escape into if things go rough. It's a potential escape clause if your employers ever turn on you.

      * Female (1pt Flaw): While female characters don't have to take this flaw, basically its a way to indicate that the chauvenistic culture of your agency does not like you and wishes you gone (or to be more friendly). Very Silence of the Lambs.

      Intra-Agency Permit (2pt merit): You can be part of two separate agencies like the SAD and CIA or NSA. This may be the fact you're spying for one of them on the other or is an actual attache status.

      * License to Kill (2pt Merit): Your agency has decided that it will cover up whatever you do in the course of your investigations, including eliminating citizens of this country or another. It is not an actual license to kill but works effectively the same. You can also lose it if its used indiscriminately but the simple fact is this is the World of Darkness and if you spent this, they're almost certainly going to overlook the fact you had to shoot a cleaning lady who saw too much.

      * Minority (1pt flaw): The same as women.

      * Top Secret Access (2pt merit): You have access to information way above your paygrade and can potentially exploit this however you see fit.

      Equipment

      This section of the book basically lists a bunch of weapons, devices, and funny things that player characters can have access to. One of the benefits of Rank is that it lists what rank you have to be to requisition things. This includes things like bulletproof vehicles, Kirlian Photography (for reading auras or spotting ghosts), and heavy weapons.

      An incredibly useful thing if you're going to be outfitting a party of agents hunting monsters.
      Last edited by CTPhipps; 12-01-2019, 12:38 AM.


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

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      • #33
        Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
        Mind you, the smart Inquisitors are the people who burn down Sabbat haunts during the daytime and don't actively engage them.
        Any vampire hunter that doesn't kill vampires during the day is a moron. The only time we should see hunters fight vampires at night is the thematic end scene of the movie where the hunters are desperately trying to save Helen/Nancy/Bob/Pedro/etc. from a fate worse than death and have to risk battling the vampire when it is dark. It's not the smart thing to do, but when someone they love is immediately threatened, they take the risk.

        It's the biggest reason I've never ran a hunter plot to my satisfaction. Because if you don't want to make the hunters stupid, you can't have them fight the PCs at night. Either the PCs are destroyed before they have a chance to react which angers the players (and allowing them to wake up in the daytime as the hunters have arranged things for the final staking/decapitation doesn't alleviate that), or the hunters never find the PCs and leave them alone which means nothing happens.

        Theoretically, I could run a very emotionally engaged story where a PC picks someone to change, alerting hunters to him, and I get that cinematic fight scene just after the sun sets or before it rises. But I've never had the PCs act in a way that allows it.

        Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
        I'm inclined to think there's a difference between those who believe in God versus active channeling of it.
        I do think True Faith is more than a simple belief in God or a higher power. To illustrate, I think it's important to distinguish between how some Catholic in the Middle Ages believes and how someone modern believes.

        Both can believe in God. But if you ask the modern Catholic, do they really believe the communion wine and wafer is the body and blood of Christ, do you really believe priests can absolve you of sin through the sacrament of reconciliation/penance, do you really believe the Pope is the Vicar of Christ, do you really believe excommunication will damn you, do you believe priests have the power to cast out demons and cure the sick, and do you really believe you cannot remarry after divorce because it would make you an adulterer? Obviously, lots more can be added to this. This is the time when the Catholic and Orthodox Churches excommunicated each other because the Latin Church added the term "and of the Son" in a section of the Nicene Creed.

        Most likely, the modern Catholic will stutter and stammer and say no, and rationalize it. But to a Medieval Catholic, most likely they'd completely agree with everything. There is no Cafeteria Catholicism in the Middle Ages, and there would be a lot less priests who water down the tenets of their faith in order to accommodate local sentiment or politics.

        In other words, they are buying all in.

        Of course, this doesn't mean there aren't doubters, or hypocrites, or venal people in both the laity and clergy during the Middle Ages. There are plenty of sinners. But even the sinners most likely believe whole hog. You don't have the centuries of doubt that creeps in because of the schisms of the Church, the Reformation, and the Enlightenment.

        Fundamentally, most people at that time did not think about religion in the same way many people think about it today in the modern West. Something has changed as a result of the modern world.

        Now I don't mean to say that the only characters today who think like Medieval Christians (or any other pre-modern version of religion, whether Christian, Muslin, Jewish) should get to have True Faith. I only want to distinguish between the two eras of belief and show they are not the same. True Faith is more than just belief, but something greater. It has to be something where people truly base their lives around it, not just when they find it convenient. It changes their hearts and drives their behavior. That can happen to people today too, but I think it's much less prevalent.

        Most Christians of the Middle Ages are taking a far greater leap of faith than most modern Christians. And I think that should be reflected in the Dark Ages setting. One of the reasons the Camarilla was created was in order to help create the brave new world where the authority of the Church and its dogma was compromised so that a second burning time could not happen. If people in the Dark Ages setting are just like those of today, then what's the point?

        Likewise, I think someone who joins an order like the Society of Leopold to explicitly fight the Powers of Darkness and have complete evidence of the supernatural, are probably going to be people with a much stronger True Faith for one reason or another. Choosing that as a vocation (and the Society of Leopold is explicitly a religious order) is definitely someone who is basing their life around their faith. At the very least, they should be able to hold up the sign of the cross and hold a vampire at bay, even if the local parish priest cannot. I think this is something essential to the setting. If someone wants to run a hunter plot where True Faith is not an intrinsic part of it, just don't use the Society of Leopold. Use ordinary people or government agents.

        I'm sure you'll have your comments as well. But since I don't want to hijack the threat and made my point as best I can in a few posts, I'll try not to revisit this.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Black Fox View Post

          Any vampire hunter that doesn't kill vampires during the day is a moron. The only time we should see hunters fight vampires at night is the thematic end scene of the movie where the hunters are desperately trying to save Helen/Nancy/Bob/Pedro/etc. from a fate worse than death and have to risk battling the vampire when it is dark. It's not the smart thing to do, but when someone they love is immediately threatened, they take the risk.
          I generally and agree and it's one of the reasons why I also tend not to directly use hunters too often in my games. That said I've used them a few times and ended up with unintended confrontations with hunters. For example, some hunters might think one of the players is a vampire so they're tailing him at night to try and figure out where his home is, the player finds out and ends up turning the tables on them and forcing the hunters into a confrontation.

          I've also run a hunter battle during the day where the players ended up playing their characters ghouls who had to fight off the hunters to protect their vampire characters, which can be fun but not something you'll want to do very often. But by and large I agree that hunters shouldn't be attempting to confront vampires at night, and siccing hunters on vampire PCs during the day is often a good way to force the player to roll up a new character which I find tends to limit how you can use them.

          For the most part when I do include hunters in a campaign, I tend to use them more as a lurking background threat when I want to alter the current mood of a game. Hunters start sniffing around, word goes out and the local Kindred community starts laying low. Maybe the Prince temporarily closes down the local Elysium spots to make it harder for the hunters to find targets until the Prince can figure out how to handle the situation. This changes the tone and mood of the game but doesn't necessarily mean the PCs will end up being directly involved with the hunters.
          Last edited by AnubisXy; 12-01-2019, 12:46 AM.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Black Fox View Post

            Any vampire hunter that doesn't kill vampires during the day is a moron. The only time we should see hunters fight vampires at night is the thematic end scene of the movie where the hunters are desperately trying to save Helen/Nancy/Bob/Pedro/etc. from a fate worse than death and have to risk battling the vampire when it is dark. It's not the smart thing to do, but when someone they love is immediately threatened, they take the risk.

            It's the biggest reason I've never ran a hunter plot to my satisfaction. Because if you don't want to make the hunters stupid, you can't have them fight the PCs at night. Either the PCs are destroyed before they have a chance to react which angers the players (and allowing them to wake up in the daytime as the hunters have arranged things for the final staking/decapitation doesn't alleviate that), or the hunters never find the PCs and leave them alone which means nothing happens.

            Theoretically, I could run a very emotionally engaged story where a PC picks someone to change, alerting hunters to him, and I get that cinematic fight scene just after the sun sets or before it rises. But I've never had the PCs act in a way that allows it.
            A proper vampire hunting game is one that I think should always be handled as a mystery. You can have the "your haven is burning down, what do you to survive?" If the PCs have planned accordingly, they have some way of escaping even if it's "I hide in the fridge until the house burns down around me!" I've had many fun games also about the possibility of other PCs digging them out of the ruins or unstaking them after they find out they've been buried alive.

            But aside from "Hunters burn down your haven" generally a good hunter game will be a detective story. The PCs have to investigate the murder of other vampires, kidnapping of their ghoul(s), or so on in order to get close to their enemies. When they finally confront the Hunter, it's going to be an anticlimax almost certainly unless you have stumbled onto an army of them or they have a flamethrower (even then, that's why guns exist) but it's getting to that point which is the purpose.

            A good short adventure example is Vivi's Favor in Bloodlines that I've copied a few times:

            * Vivi suspects a stripper named Chastity is a vampire hunter.
            * You have to go to her workplace at night and confirm she's a Hunter.
            * You then have to clear people out and get rid of witnesses.
            * You then can dispose of her.
            * I would add maybe also disposing of her body or you're going to be in all manner of crap.

            Other ways you can add to this.

            * Chastity isn't the Hunter, it's actually one of Vivi's other strippers.
            * Chastity has a partner who has now IDed the PCs.
            * The players might also go to Chastity's apartment because if they don't, they will find out her home is full of vampire hunting equipment and evidence that needs disposing of. Maybe an imprisoned Thin Blood she's been torturing.
            * The PCs can get caught with evidence they killed Chastity and must get rid of it, blackmail the cops, bribe them, or more.
            * You can maybe find out that Vivi is lying and Chastity is not just a vampire hunter but Vivi's former ghoul who abandoned her.

            Good player characters will find out who the Hunter is and why they hunt before the final kill.

            I'm sure you'll have your comments as well. But since I don't want to hijack the threat and made my point as best I can in a few posts, I'll try not to revisit this.
            Honestly, I'm not disagreeing with you that much because I put 1 out of 3 Inquisitors as having True Faith. The primary reason I didn't put it higher was because the Society of Leopold also hires mercenaries in order to assist them with their activities and employs many people who are, in simple terms, complete assholes. There's Society of Leopold members who are all for torturing ghouls and Thin Bloods to save their souls (but just get off on it). There's Catholic vampire hunters who are crude jerkasses and antiheroes (see John Carpenter's vampires). There's also people who have severe issues with the way things are done but don't want to rock the boat.

            In the Dark Ages, your average merchant KNOWS that God is real and the bread/wine are God's host but he doesn't have a particularly deep or strong connection to God. His is the obedience of the culture and hsi environment. For me, it's something you have to actively seek as your vocation and importance to an extent.

            But you play your game the way you want to.

            Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post

            I generally and agree and it's one of the reasons why I also tend not to directly use hunters too often in my games. That said I've used them a few times and ended up with unintended confrontations with hunters. For example, some hunters might think one of the players is a vampire so they're tailing him at night to try and figure out where his home is, the player finds out and ends up turning the tables on them and forcing the hunters into a confrontation.

            I've also run a hunter battle during the day where the players ended up playing their characters ghouls who had to fight off the hunters to protect their vampire characters, which can be fun but not something you'll want to do very often. But by and large I agree that hunters shouldn't be attempting to confront vampires at night, and siccing hunters on vampire PCs during the day is often a good way to force the player to roll up a new character which I find tends to limit how you can use them.

            For the most part when I do include hunters in a campaign, I tend to use them more as a lurking background threat when I want to alter the current mood of a game. Hunters start sniffing around, word goes out and the local Kindred community starts laying low. Maybe the Prince temporarily closes down the local Elysium spots to make it harder for the hunters to find targets until the Prince can figure out how to handle the situation. This changes the tone and mood of the game but doesn't necessarily mean the PCs will end up being directly involved with the hunters.
            Good insights.

            To add a bit more to what I said above, the aims of a Hunter vs. Vampire adventure should be:

            * Finding out who the Hunter is.
            * Disposing of the Hunter (which may include persuasion, Dominate, Dementation, or blood bond)
            * Finding out what the Hunter knew and who they might have told
            * Finding out if the Hunter has any allies.
            * Getting rid of any evidence a Hunter has
            * Dealing with the consequences as they fall down.

            Another typical Hunter adventure is a reverse of your typical TV show serial killer one:

            * A powerful Elder in the city is staked, decapitated, and her remains burned.
            * The player characters must investigate this and keep the PD and papers from labeling it "The Vampire Hunter Killer."
            * Other vampires around the city start dying that fit the modus apparandi of the Hunter, mostly Elders and their stooges.
            * The players then find the odd loose thread that a young Anarch has also disappeared.
            * The player characters then figure out the vampire hunter(s) are a group of ghouls from a recently-slain Elder trying to avenge their former master and have kidnapped a Anarch to keep themselves alive for another two months (before they'd have to kill him and get a new vampire to drink blood from).
            * Alternatively, it's Sullivan Dane getting info from Juggler. Juggler screwed up by sending Dane after one of his Anarch rivals.
            Last edited by CTPhipps; 12-01-2019, 12:56 AM.


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

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            • #36
              Character Creation Review:

              This is a fairly straight forward chapter and doesn't really require much in the way of commentary. Still, this remains one of my favorite chapters for character creation due to the Merits and Flaws as well as the Equipment section. The big difference between your typical vampire hunter and a SAD or other Project: Twilight agent is the fact that the latter have institutional support that can mean the difference between life or death.

              As we saw in Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2 when the Judge (big scary demon) got blown up with a rocket launcher or the Season 3 finale (when they blow up Mayor Wilkens), access to serious military hardware is something that means the difference between an unstoppable godlike Elder and just another pile of ash.

              Indeed, this section of the book is a large part of why I consider this book to be a must-have for Technocracy Players (and vice versa) because a lot of the Skills/Knowledges/Abilities of the Guide to the Technocracy book are incredibly useful for spies. You know, things like TERRORISM and TORTURE (that were actual skills--yikes).

              License to Kill, Manchurian Candidate, Siege Mentality, and more are all very useful as well.

              This is already giving us a sense of the government circa 1998 and it's a pretty dark but efficient place. We also know they DO have things like psychic powers and hedge magic even if it's small amounts.
              Last edited by CTPhipps; 12-01-2019, 06:51 AM.


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

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              • #37
                NEXT UP - The SAD which is the most interesting part of the book and will get a lot of attention.


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

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                • #38
                  To me, the best hunter/vampire stories are ones that involve more than just violence.

                  I had a great arc in my current game where one of my PC's mothers was a vampire hunter. She wound up getting exposed to the PC, could have killed the PC preserve her secret, but couldn't go through with it and spared her unlife. Then the prince's people found out. She was a senator's wife/too public a figure to simply make disappear, so they wound up strong-arming her into killing their enemies, with the PC's unlife essentially held hostage to their demands.

                  It was a lot of fun. There was lots of distrust and wheeling and dealing, with each side covertly trying to use the PC to screw over the other one. The political maneuvering was contrasted against the more human story of the PC's personal relationship with her mother, and their tragic attempts to have some sort of relationship in the time they had left (they'd drifted apart when the PC was alive) before everything went up in flames.

                  Not every PC's relatives can be hunters, and I wouldn't use that idea with more than one PC unless I could keep the relationships and their related story arcs distinct. But I think it's important to give PCs personal connections to hunters for the same reason than it's important to give them connections to other vampires. If they're just enemies/walking Masquerade breaches/potential catspaws against rivals, there's a lot fewer ways you can use those.

                  Connections between PCs and hunters don't have to be limited to personal relationships, either. CTPhipps had the idea of the Second Inquisition selling ICE-detained immigrants to vampires in order to raise a quick buck. Not all hunters want to simply exterminate every vampire: they may have more specific targets and be willing to work with other bloodsuckers to take down ones higher up on their lists. Vampires can have the same attitude. In my current game, one of the city's elders is quite willing to treat hunters as nominal equals, trade favors for favors, and cooperate with them against his enemies. Hunters can also have just as valid reasons to work with vampires against other hunters (who says they all have to get along?). There are so many more ways to use them than just as physical threats to kill.


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

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                  • #39
                    False Epiphany

                    You're right that Hunting vampires just to hunt vampires is probably the most basic plot that you can do with them. It's easy to get lost in that when discsusing the Second Inquisition but one of the things I'm looking forward to discussing is the Special Affairs Divsion's diverse cast of characters and their strong personalities. One of the things I like about 1st Edition Vampire: The Masquerade's BAPTISM BY FIRE is that it has three very interesting Hunters as part of its write-ups.

                    Sullivan Dane is the most traditional witch hunter and a professional killer of monsters. However, my favorite of the three is probably Gregory Stephens. Gregory has mixed feelings about vampires because his sister Evelyn is one and hasn't degenerated into a complete monster yet. He wants to help her and get her away from being blood bound by Juggler. While he might want to slay Juggler, that doesn't mean his antipathy applies to other vampires. It's an interesting case as being a "Hunter" is just being a human willing to use violence against vampires.

                    William Shepherd? Okay, 2 out of 3 ain't bad.

                    Another Hunter that is very interesting is Jacob Schumpeter's daughter. She's a character who wants revenge on her vampire father but it's his personality that makes Jacob a monster. She's a potential ally as well as foe for players.
                    Last edited by CTPhipps; 12-01-2019, 10:46 PM.


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

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                    • #40
                      I've always felt one of the biggest weaknesses of the By Night books (many of which were otherwise fantastic) was not detailing many (or any) mortal or ghoul characters. The Storyteller's Handbook advised making them just as relevant as the vampires, but other books never really put that advice into practice.

                      So Baptism detailing several mortal NPCs was pretty awesome. One of the reasons I think Gregory worked so well is because his sister was a vampire. That's an inherently more interesting dynamic than Sullivan Dane being a zealous loner out to cleanse the earth of the undead (though Dust to Dust did a good job giving him more depth and nuance of response in how he interacted with vampire PCs).

                      I was sad we didn't get to see anything for either of Jacob's daughters in V5 Chicago. The update on Bobby's girlfriend was great. So were all the detailed mortal Allies, Retainers, and Touchstones associated with the vampire NPCs.


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

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                      • #41
                        Chapter Two: SAD part 1

                        The Special Affairs Division is the best part of this book and something I recommend everyone read because it has that Gentleman Gamer quality of just being filled with all manner of weirdness. If they hire Matthew Dawkins to write this section of the Second Inquisition handbook, I hope he incorporates all of these kooky characters. If he doesn't write it, I'll volunteer to Modiphus. Anyway, with that bit of blatant self-promotion over, I'll explain each little section of the SAD.

                        The History of the SAD: The Special Affairs Division was founded by Charles Horner after a chance encounter with a vampire during Prohibition. He, unknown to the vampire, possessed the Iron Will merit since the mesmerism attempt on him failed miserably. Charles then made friends with J Edgar Hoover after WW2 and gathered enough information to convince him of the existence of the supernatural. Hoover in RL was paranoid enough that I believe it was entirely likely he could be persuaded of the existence of vampires, wizards, and other figures.

                        I also believe that he's one of those historical figures that actually makes sense as supernatural. He's exactly the sort of person who would make sense as a Man in White for the New World Order. Mages are, after all, easier to justify as supernaturals and supposedly changing things all the time. This isn't entirely necessary, though, because the SAD *ALREADY* has a New World Order connection as Doctor Emil Zoltos a.ka. "The Magic Czar" Is a New World Order mage and Hoover's psychiatrist that DID support his creation of the SAD--presumably as a weapon for the Technocracy.

                        Horner is kind of a scumbag as he is deeply unhappy with the American Indian Movement and attempted to infiltrate it because he assumed werewolves were involved (but also hated Native activism as well--true to a Hoover appointtee of the time). He failed miserably and his attempts to infiltrate the Camarilla also got other agents killed. Despite being autonomous from the FBI, people start looking them as UFO-chasing kooks with high casualties.

                        In the end, he was replaced with Andrew Crowe, a Silver Fang Kinfolk who keeps them out of Garou affairs and back on vampires. Crowe then gets replaced by George Thommason (remember him?), who is a fanatical American conservative with a hatred of vampires that eventually goes "crazy" and ends up in an insane asylum. I'm going to assume that it was Marcus Vitel who did it and was the former handler of Felicity Price.

                        The current head of the SAD is Gerald Osbourne who is a lot more dangerous than George Thommason. Gerald is not particularly intimidated by the supernatural nor feels any real social fears about vampires corrupting American flouride or sexual mores. He's also made friends with Senator Grubbholb, on the House Appropriations Committee who has expanded their budget a dozen times over. That is because Grubbholb's daughter has been kidnapped by werewolves (she's actually been taken in by the Garou since he's kinfolk).

                        Structure: The SAD is controlled by Gerald Osbourne, has a second in command with Cynthia Forest, has four Regional Directors, a head of Research, and an internal security director named Martin Fiske. Cynthia Forest is an unknowing agent of the NWO, one of the Regional Directors is a SIlver Fang kinfolk, and Fiske is a plant from Pentex. Wow, the SAD is NOT covering itself in glory.

                        Discipline: They do a tribunal and have authority to "sanction" members.


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

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                          Chapter Two: SAD part 1

                          The current head of the SAD is Gerald Osbourne who is a lot more dangerous than George Thommason. Gerald is not particularly intimidated by the supernatural nor feels any real social fears about vampires corrupting American flouride or sexual mores.
                          But I thought that the conspiracy theory was that the fluoride was corrupting America's pure bodily fluids, not that it, itself, was in danger of corruption.

                          "They even have plans to fluoridate ice cream, Mandrake. Children's ice cream."

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                          • #43
                            Obviously corrupting the flouride would be the next step after corrupting the ice cream *with* the flouride.

                            It's the only way to make sure.

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Saur Ops Specialist View Post

                              But I thought that the conspiracy theory was that the fluoride was corrupting America's pure bodily fluids, not that it, itself, was in danger of corruption.

                              "They even have plans to fluoridate ice cream, Mandrake. Children's ice cream."
                              That's what they WANT you to think?

                              But yes, I think that utterly insane conspiracy theorists are probably MORE common in the World of Darkness and every bit as wrong.

                              Sort of like how PRISM is watching us and there's lies about torture's effectiveness but people assume that it's a pedophile ring under a pizzaria that doesn't have a basement (Horizon Realm!) that matters.


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

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                              • #45
                                SAD part 2

                                The SAD is only about 30 people total and while that's a decent sized chunk of people, it's ridiculously underfunded and undermanned for people to go after vampiredom as a whole. It's also thoroughly compromised by the supernatural with its own internal political problems. I actually like these factions as they add a lot to the group's character.

                                The Minutemen

                                "An all-white, all-male ultraconservative reactionary cable in the mold of the Ku Klux Klan."
                                -The opening description of this group.

                                The Minutemen are a collection of assholes who are recruited from law enforcement and genuinely got into it in order to get rid of (and this is a quote) "foreigners, loudmouthed-feminists, and weirdos." They don't mention homosexuals as even a gay friendly RPG like White Wolf tended to paint between the lines regarding the subject (even if it was obvious Critias was homosexual, Annabelle bisexual, and so on).

                                They are basically a group that exists to be antagonists to PCs but it's actually possible for the PCs to play as one (the presumption back then was that the players wouldn't actually share their character's viewpoints). The Minutemen are plotting a coup against Osbourne and are privately supported by the Star Chamber (which is detailed later in the book) while Fiske is personally supported by Pentex.

                                It says that Cynthia Forest shares a lot of their views, which is a shame, but they won't approach her because of her sex.

                                The Underground

                                The intellectual antithesis of the Minutemen, they are mostly interested in exploring the supernatural versus blowing the hell out of it. They are secretly backed by "Delphi", which is an NSA affiliated group of information crunchers that are really the Virtual Adepts. One of their members was recently killed by the Minutemen and they are mostly focused on trying to keep the SAD from being switched wildly to the Right. This is probably a good place to make an Attorney Barr and Federalist Society joke.

                                The funny thing about the Underground is the fact that it is actually treasonous despite the fact it's the more "good" option. Marsha Crowe is it's secret leader and she's a plant for the Silver Fangs. The Minutemen may be a bunch of cariactures and crypto-fascists but they're not actively working for the supernatural.

                                Wire Heads

                                Two of the SAD's members have been kidnapped and brainwashed by parties unknown. Given Cynthia Forest is an agent of the NWO, Fiske works for Pentex (as a security consultant no doubt), and the undead keep a close eye on the group, it could be just about anyone. They are Manchurian Candidates that exist to destroy evidence and redirect them from anything too incriminating.

                                Cointelpros

                                SAD is planning to do some of the kind of psy-ops that the NSA has been running to get vampires, mages, and werewolves to fight each other. Unfortunately, this almost destroyed the agency when Charles Horner ran it and they haven't actually learned much more since. Fiske believes they can pull it off but he's obviously wrong and who knows what could happen next. The Sabbat are stupid enough to just attack the SAD's base and slaughter everyone there--bringing the entire US government down on them.

                                How to become an SAD member

                                A pretty good description of the testing process to make sure that any SAD Agent can be trusted.
                                Last edited by CTPhipps; 12-03-2019, 05:52 AM.


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

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