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[V5] The Sabbat in V5

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  • Banu_Saulot
    replied
    Guess the Second Inquisition had no more reasons to sit around and say "ah, we don't even know if there is something out there". Besides, if we want to be apologetic, which I don't really want to (I prefer to just make the grand battle a bit smaller, farther from populations, and other alterations), but we can say that many governments did see all this and well, decided to put a bit more money in national security, with special parameters (hunt blankbodies), and by this it also means that the governments tried their best in covering up that whole thing. They could even say that in fact was a terrorist attack, and look good by putting money in security, while actually funding their part in the Second Inquisition "movement". That is how I would rationalize it, but I guess we will have to wait and see the coming book of V5 about SI to know if they will touch in the Week of Nightmares again or not.

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  • monteparnas
    replied
    Originally posted by Matt the Bruins fan View Post
    I think it helped immensely that there was a massive cyclone/typhoon hitting Bangladesh as part of the proceedings. It probably actually did cause the most deaths, and provided cover for the less natural ones as they were occurring (not that many calm witnesses out in driving rain, floods, and 100+ mph winds) and semi-plausible explanations in the aftermath.
    The typhoon is part of the problem, not of the solution.

    Natural disasters are more powerful than nuclear warheads. A regular hurricane delivers the equivalent to 10 megatons in 20 minutes, that is about 1.000 times the yield of a big Neutron Bomb (a bomb of greater yield will have a blast greater than the neutron spread and won't really count as a Neutron Bomb, the Bombs in Bangladesh probably had between 50% and 75% of the normal limit).

    But all hurricanes that hit the entirety of Bangladesh in the last 50 years killed, together, "little" more than 700k people. Most of them in a single event in the 70's that killed half a million, but since then the death toll of hurricanes there consistently diminished. By 1999 a single hurricane would hardly kill more than 2k people. The typhoon in the book killed around 1.3 million.

    Atomic bombs release a lot of other telltales that are impossible to cover so easily, but the magical typhoon is pretty much an uncoverable disaster in itself.

    Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
    I mean if it was actually in the city, no matter how many are dead, it should be the end of the Masquerade period. Maybe you could handwave it if it was a particularly rural and unpopulated area but that's just silly.
    Pretty much that. Even in a rural area, a typhoon big enough to kill more than a million is just the end of the secrecy.

    Chalking it up to Bangladesh's inability in keeping records, something they did in the book, is also extremely tasteless to say the least when we're talking about something this big. Or to say the world won't pay attention as if there was no country near Bangladesh or relying in trade with them in the first place. It is a statement that only makes sense from an absolutely ethnocentric POV given that Bangladesh is in the middle of the most populous area in the entire world.

    As with the V5, and apparently W5, books, my big problem here is with the "go big then go home" attitude. Instead of sticking to the decision of making big changes they do a huge event and then go back to business as usual. If you want to do the end of the world as we know it, go big or go home.

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  • CTPhipps
    replied
    Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post

    Yeas, this was a sticking point for me as well. In game it goes come down to Technocratic arrogance and chauvinism. Out of game it is arguably a scaling issue - unless the game is set in Bangladesh, it is something that can be ignored.
    I mean if it was actually in the city, no matter how many are dead, it should be the end of the Masquerade period. Maybe you could handwave it if it was a particularly rural and unpopulated area but that's just silly.

    Still, killing millions of any people for your game is going to be notable. Why the Avengers created Sokovia.

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  • CTPhipps
    replied
    Arguing with mods about a topic told to be dropped.

    Take the day off.

    Last edited by CTPhipps; 09-25-2021, 01:31 PM.

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  • Matt the Bruins fan
    replied
    I think it helped immensely that there was a massive cyclone/typhoon hitting Bangladesh as part of the proceedings. It probably actually did cause the most deaths, and provided cover for the less natural ones as they were occurring (not that many calm witnesses out in driving rain, floods, and 100+ mph winds) and semi-plausible explanations in the aftermath.

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  • Grumpy RPG Reviews
    replied
    Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
    ​A month to clean up the results of an Ante, 5 warheads, a magical typhoon and the gauntlet being ripped apart for spirits from distant realms to join the fray. Yep.
    Yeas, this was a sticking point for me as well. In game it goes come down to Technocratic arrogance and chauvinism. Out of game it is arguably a scaling issue - unless the game is set in Bangladesh, it is something that can be ignored.

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  • Banu_Saulot
    replied
    Funny. You think this edition that is more... mundane, less power-focused and all that would have more books about simple politics, social engineering, power plays, intrigue, city structures, clan organization, etc... But we actually had a quite mystical number of books. Fall of London is practically a standalone Cult of Blood Gods (the most mystic one so far), and Sabbat is also pretty much bound to it, as esoteric as mundane. That leaves us Chicago By Night, Companion (less a full fleshed book and really a main book companion) and the Camarilla and Anarch books, not counting starter pack or the sub-books related to Chicago and Cult. And well, let's just say the first sect books didn't help so much in seeing the big picture, and perhaps way too much of the small pictures, many chapter felt like loose, unguided Beckett's Jyhad Diary chapters, but without a pre-metaplot info to understand without explaining everything. So yeah, by far, even being shorter, Sabbat holds as the best sect book for V5 (even if it doesn't hold much for players, not even loresheets). I really would want a book about the sect or city politics in the vein of Cult or Sabbat book, cuz they expose the material very well, ready for use.

    Second Inquisition book is really something I don't know what to expect... a Hunters Hunted, a Sabbat book but of mortal antagonists? It isn't being portrayed as much as antagonistic material as the Sabbat was. Either way, I'm excited for new books, cuz the writing is getting better, and the material we get, even if they removed lots of precious pages, is giving a lot of depth, really fast. But, geez, if CoBG next sub-book have tie-ins, that would be awesome! Cuz now, them both books have been my favorite. Oh, but if I had to ask for the material of a new standalone book would be more Player option, so a Playerbook would be superb.

    Oh and I'm thinking there might me some interesting chronicles or stories just about the Sabbat having its structures falling down. Old Clan Tzimisce must be laughing their tails off. Like, have one of the Sabbat faction get the upper hand, or factionS try something, and then all goes to shit, and before they can get back up, Beckoning calls, so you gotta run while you are down, crawling. I suspect much of Sabbats more libertarian Cainites turned Anarch, given how much freedom they represent now. It is also nice cuz now the sect is turning back into its original components, Anarchs, esbats, Heresy Churches, maniacs, crusaders and blood-seeking cannibals. Only we don't see a Lost Tribe around... and Tal'Mahe'Ra certainly turned into glowing dust in the afterlife by now.

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  • CTPhipps
    replied
    I think officially it was meant to look like a natural disaster. But I always felt giving the Technocracy the "win" there was a mistake because it made them look a lot more justified than they should have been.

    No reason why it couldn't have been a bunch of Tradition Oracles or something similar.

    Or, hell, if you want to get rid of the Stargazers tribe say that they sacrificed themselves to do it.

    Originally posted by Banu_Saulot View Post
    One thing I really didn't understood very well was the situation in Alamut, in the new Sabbat book. Just what the hell is going on there. It actually sounds like something chronicle-book-worthy.
    I took the opposite of it in that it is, "Alamut is now officially a Cthulhu-esque reality wrinkle. Nothing goes in, nothing comes out. Gods are duking out. Ignore it if you can."

    Which is effectively a weird way of writing it out of the setting.

    I wonder how (and if) it will tie in to the final Blood Gods cult book.
    Last edited by CTPhipps; 09-25-2021, 03:45 AM.

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  • Banu_Saulot
    replied
    That was always a weird one for me. Even though I loved 3rd edition and the Times of Thin Blood Book, the whole thing of "tomorrow the world will end!!" was more bothersome than fun or interesting, it was way too much on the face, way too Now. Something else that I thought was messed up was not only the number of dead people, but the effort taken to put the Ravana guy down. Like jesus, what a goddamn propaganda, supposedly the Antediluvian never left frenzy while he was awake, was millennia hungry, and isn't from one of the more warring Disciplines let's call it. Even then, it costed an absurd amount of effort and sacrifice from Wan Kuei, shapeshifters and the most powerful Mage organization that there was, damn, if one nuke doesn't do it, then Masquerade is only worthy for lesser then Methuselah Kindred.
    And yeah, what the hell will the governments think? Nuclear blasts aren't really easy to ignore I presume, not only the radiation would be felt but the sound probably too. What will the governments say? That Pakistan did it? And then start a real war?

    One thing I really didn't understood very well was the situation in Alamut, in the new Sabbat book. Just what the hell is going on there. It actually sounds like something chronicle-book-worthy.

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  • Taggie
    replied
    Originally posted by monteparnas View Post

    It wasn't meant to be noticed immediately even then, as far-fetched as this could be. They never went through it, though, and the event had less and less attention paid to the huge fallout area until it became focused on the solar satellite attack and the nukes were less and less mentioned.

    Maybe it has something to do with the Indians and Bangladeshis not noticing, having no participation on it, having no agency or mention in it, and eventually they noticing the Indian players probably weren't that happy with it.

    But hey, since there is no direct mention to which part of the Union did it, you can pretend in your game that it totally wasn't the White Knights saving the day when the droves of Indian supernaturals failed! Oh, no, wait, it does mention the names of several characters and it was western Technocracy. With the help of western Garou and Chinese Kuei-Jin.


    I'm also a fan of both, but the problem is the aftermath both in and OoC. And the nuke was a big part of the problem.

    [Ravnos]' fall is a pretty awesome action flick for sure, and this is a good thing to have now and then. The Techy being a part of it was outright good.

    But there was a whole host of problems, and I just reread it to be sure. I even took care to look for a friend's copy, since my personal one is in Portuguese and could have translation issues.

    First of all it wasn't a single nuke. It was at least 3, probably 5, maybe more. The text in ToTB mentions them on plural all the time. They fall at page 121 and are mentioned several times after. Crowe, the werewolf, lives to count 3. The Iron Chrysanthemum relates that "only two of the bombs actually fell close enough to harm her". And the seer Vampiresa H. Bakos (best name ever) conjures five chimeric mushroom clouds.

    We also have direct statements that it does have physical explosion and radiation, and the explaining text in the end says right in your face that they were Neutron Bombs, without even talking about magical alterations. Based on that and on the descriptions given by the characters, those were close to real life Neutron Bombs, that do have a lesser explosion compared to "common" nukes, but are still far from the "safety" of theoretical Neutron Bombs. The bombs killed 60k+ people, mostly because the supernatural warfare had already killed about 1.2+ million people, supernaturals aren't counted (not that they would make a huge difference).

    The action is said to happen in "central-south Bangladesh", which should be about the Bibhag of Barisal, coasting the Bay of Bengal and the west of the Ganges Delta. A region full of rice fields important to Bangladeshi economy, where sits one of its main ports and two universities, with a total population of 8 million at the time.

    Let that sit: an important economic area in the 8th most populous country in the world loses between 14 and 16% of its population in a storm that kills alone more than twice what storms killed in that entire country in the last 50 years combined, with an area of it just being bombarded by at least 5 nuclear warheads, no nationals or their direct neighbors had nothing to do with it, and the western Technocracy brushes it off as a month of work and no one will notice, for real, their plan was that media operatives would ensure the rest of the world wouldn't pay attention ('cause apparently only the US counts) and the clean up would take a month.

    A month to clean up the results of an Ante, 5 warheads, a magical typhoon and the gauntlet being ripped apart for spirits from distant realms to join the fray. Yep.
    An Ante throwing down with Bodshivitas that make most Methuselahs looks like chumps, as well as everyone the shifter nations could scrape up, multiple mages, probably fae, umbral spirits, probably wraiths and spectre's, military and paramilitary forces....and then the nukes hit, (and neutron bombs may have less blast, but they are still bigger than the WW2 devices, with the added fun of horrific radiological effects and enhanced fallout). Covering that up should have required blaming it on someone, a terrorist group with Soviet devices, an insane boomer captain, something beyond 'weather be crazy' because guess what, the world's intelligence and military communities know exactly what a nuke looks like and how to detect them and Bangladesh gives a damn about acts of war committed against it, and it's citizens.

    Edit: double checked the yields of known enhanced radiation aka neutron devices, they are in the same range as the Fat Man and Little Boy devices, with added neutron fun times.
    Last edited by Taggie; 09-24-2021, 09:49 PM.

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  • monteparnas
    replied
    Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
    I thought it was meant to be noticed and the beginning of the end for the Masquerade. Mind you, I always felt it should have been the Indian government that did it instead of the Union.

    I don't even know if it was the Indian part of the Technocratic Union that did it.
    It wasn't meant to be noticed immediately even then, as far-fetched as this could be. They never went through it, though, and the event had less and less attention paid to the huge fallout area until it became focused on the solar satellite attack and the nukes were less and less mentioned.

    Maybe it has something to do with the Indians and Bangladeshis not noticing, having no participation on it, having no agency or mention in it, and eventually they noticing the Indian players probably weren't that happy with it.

    But hey, since there is no direct mention to which part of the Union did it, you can pretend in your game that it totally wasn't the White Knights saving the day when the droves of Indian supernaturals failed! Oh, no, wait, it does mention the names of several characters and it was western Technocracy. With the help of western Garou and Chinese Kuei-Jin.

    Originally posted by Chris24601 View Post
    As someone who adores Time of Thin Blood for bringing in Dhampirs (and the Week of Nightmares stuff for basically being a Pro-Technocracy action flick)
    I'm also a fan of both, but the problem is the aftermath both in and OoC. And the nuke was a big part of the problem.

    [Ravnos]' fall is a pretty awesome action flick for sure, and this is a good thing to have now and then. The Techy being a part of it was outright good.

    But there was a whole host of problems, and I just reread it to be sure. I even took care to look for a friend's copy, since my personal one is in Portuguese and could have translation issues.

    First of all it wasn't a single nuke. It was at least 3, probably 5, maybe more. The text in ToTB mentions them on plural all the time. They fall at page 121 and are mentioned several times after. Crowe, the werewolf, lives to count 3. The Iron Chrysanthemum relates that "only two of the bombs actually fell close enough to harm her". And the seer Vampiresa H. Bakos (best name ever) conjures five chimeric mushroom clouds.

    We also have direct statements that it does have physical explosion and radiation, and the explaining text in the end says right in your face that they were Neutron Bombs, without even talking about magical alterations. Based on that and on the descriptions given by the characters, those were close to real life Neutron Bombs, that do have a lesser explosion compared to "common" nukes, but are still far from the "safety" of theoretical Neutron Bombs. The bombs killed 60k+ people, mostly because the supernatural warfare had already killed about 1.2+ million people, supernaturals aren't counted (not that they would make a huge difference).

    The action is said to happen in "central-south Bangladesh", which should be about the Bibhag of Barisal, coasting the Bay of Bengal and the west of the Ganges Delta. A region full of rice fields important to Bangladeshi economy, where sits one of its main ports and two universities, with a total population of 8 million at the time.

    Let that sit: an important economic area in the 8th most populous country in the world loses between 14 and 16% of its population in a storm that kills alone more than twice what storms killed in that entire country in the last 50 years combined, with an area of it just being bombarded by at least 5 nuclear warheads, no nationals or their direct neighbors had nothing to do with it, and the western Technocracy brushes it off as a month of work and no one will notice, for real, their plan was that media operatives would ensure the rest of the world wouldn't pay attention ('cause apparently only the US counts) and the clean up would take a month.

    A month to clean up the results of an Ante, 5 warheads, a magical typhoon and the gauntlet being ripped apart for spirits from distant realms to join the fray. Yep.

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  • TyrannicalRabbit
    replied
    Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

    Yes and they were non-radioactive nukes (because MAGIC) but it's still something that makes no sense "realistically." Yet realism isn't going to be something you worry about in the final couple of years of your gameline.



    My take is that three nukes were dropped and then a solar mirror used by the Technocracy. The Indian government was not involved at all in the canon version.
    *with certain other takes interjected. I think someone else when into the granularity of the event sufficiently that I don't have to repeat it.

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  • CTPhipps
    replied
    Yeah, let's avoid that kind of statement please.

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  • Banu_Saulot
    replied
    Yeah, this V5 Sabbat book is very lore-light, as this edition has been. Which makes things easy, but after finishing Beckett's Diary a couple of nights ago... well, let's just say I was itching for a bit more tidbits XD
    But yeah, little talk of the Clans, the personalities, and all that. I'll have a bit more of work in the lore department, as well as the Non-Player Character to Player Character mechanics and rodeos translation (probably the previous editions will be more of use, and it seems it is deliberate). I must say, this book made me want to play Sabbat funnily enough, although certainly not as the most Sabbat of Sabbats, cuz man, if they were fucked-up then, now they are terrifyingly fucked up. They put the Boo! in Boogeyman. It really seems like a religious sect, not only in appearance. And it makes sense, cuz the most pro-freedom, youngsters, anti-powerplays of Cainites would probably just go be a bit more radical in the Anarchs than being vanilla in Sabbat (which takes way more sacrifice, commitment and belief). Anyway, great book, great addition, wish it was longer, and doesn't matter what I wanted additionally from it, cuz it delivered what it promised in spades.

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  • Chris24601
    replied
    As someone who adores Time of Thin Blood for bringing in Dhampirs (and the Week of Nightmares stuff for basically being a Pro-Technocracy action flick), the gist was [Ravnos] woke up, turned his eldest childer into soulless blood bags and went on a rampage with chimerical beasts and nightmares; multiple packs of fera and other supernaturals got involved. The three bodavistas summoned a typhoon to cover the whole thing. The technocrats noticed and initially launched conventional forces, then sent in countermagic units to try a clear the clouds so their orbital solar mirrors could work (that failed initially, but was actually plan A) and finally nuked the whole place from orbit (there was a whole bit of fluff text about the last moments of supernaturals on the ground before they were vaporized). That still didn’t kill [Ravnos] but the boddavistas were convinced that [Ravnos] was finally weakened enough that it wouldn’t be able to escape the sun and let the clouds part so the orbital mirrors could finish the job.

    The gist (or at least my read of it) seems to be that, at full power, [Ravnos] could have used Chimerstry to blot out the sun and would have wiped out the Technocracy forces if they were going it alone. The boddavista summoned storm cover was all about letting other supernaturals (including other vampires) pummel [Ravnos] day and night with no chance to rest until he was finally weak enough that he wouldn’t be able to pull a shenanigan and escape the sun mirrors. The mirrors may have been the kill shot, but it was the three days of pummeling culminating in a spirit nuke that opened a chink in the armor for the kill shot to even function.

    The aftermath/coverup was that a typhoon had caused massive flooding and death in the region and the Technology spent a lot of time and resources posing as international relief efforts to clean up the mess/reinforce the cover story afterwards (i.e. mass memory modification, removing evidence of the nuke blast and faking flood/wind damage).

    One of the big elements with the Technocracy in Mage Revised was a top-down re-evaluation of the vampire threat in light of [Ravnos]’s rise and lore suggesting the existence of multiple such entities. If you wanted a integrated cross-splat metaplot, the Technocracy ultimately being the main backers of the Second Inquisition would be a logical follow on from how things were left in Revised.

    ETA: it was just one nuke (not three) involved with [Ravnos]. The others were involved in Ends of Empire that ended the original WtO series (and nuked Shadowlands Enoch/wiped out the True Black Hand) and the multiple nukes (Ravnos+Ends of Empire) were responsible for kicking off the Maelstrom, the Avatar Storm and all the zombies from Hunter the Reckoning.
    Last edited by Chris24601; 09-24-2021, 01:17 PM.

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