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[V5] [WIR] The Chicago Folios and Let the Streets Run Red

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  • #61
    Bad Medicine, Light Up The Night, Surgical Strike

    Cast: The Second Inquisition, Magadon Pharmaceuticals

    Synopsis: The Second Inquisition is using radioactive isotopes to track Cainites across the city via satellite. It's up to the PCs to figure out how they want to deal with such a kooky plan.

    Analysis: The Second Inquisition is something that is one of the best additions to the World of Darkness while also one of the hardest to use. Basically, what do you do with them other than have them show up at your haven to trash the place? Well this section definitely gives you some ideas and these are my favorite of them. Basically, the Second Inquisition has a brilliant way to use SCIENCE to find out where all the Kindred in the world are. They're going to track them like animals and presumably either round them up or contain them. They are being aided in this by Magadon Pharmaceuticals, Big Pharma before we actually had a name for it in the Nineties.

    Is it just me or is the problem of Pentex that reality keeps making the actual Satanists look tame in terms corporate culture?
    I appreciate whenever Pentex gets mentioned in other settings than Werewolf: The Apocalypse. I resent when they got rid of the Special Projects Division as I think Pentex and the Technocracy should be hand-in-pocket trying to take over the world. I also feel like the Camarilla should have made an alliance with Pentex versus the Sabbat. There's a supplement called Pentex: Monkeywrenchers that I've always enjoyed and it details both Magadon, Endron, and the First Teams. It also has the Camarilla investigating Pentex as a source of Sabbat wealth. When I used it in my campaigns, I had the Camarilla, rather than fight Pentex, come to an accommodation because of course it would.

    Which is basically the solution of this campaign. The US government is employing Magadon to help hunt vampires but the best opportunity for the players to utterly derail their plans is for the vampires to use their vast resources to make a deal with Magadon. The Camarilla may not be able to outbid the US government but they can make "problems" like opioid investigations, taxation, or so on all disappear while the Second Inquisition is going to be cash strapped soon due to all the money they've wasted on cleansing whole cities.

    It's also possible the Camarilla while can't buy PENTEX, they could buy Magadon. It's also a very good investment for Kindred in the future. True Blood? Infectious porphyry? Sunscreen?
    Another Humanity-costing way to derail the Inquisition's plan is to make it appear that the isotope causes cancer in those humans it infects. Yes, have the players actually give humans cancer in order to derail a Second Inquisition plan. They can try and fake the data with Magadon's help but that's a lot riskier than doing it the Adrian Veidt sort of way. The scenario also nicely has the player characters have the option of just murdering the scientists responsible for this (and orphaning their children) or bending them to their will.


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

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    • #62
      New Adventure

      I had another idea for one of these. I hope people don't mind me incorporating them into the thread. I've actually run this adventure in my home games and it proved very popular.

      Human Resources

      Cast: Blake Tyler [crooked SAD officer], Wesley Sharpe [Low Level Pentex manager], Bronwyn, Adze

      What happened

      Blake Tyler was an SAD FBI agent as early as the Nineties and is nearing retirement date. An associate of the Minutemen headed by Martin Fisk, he foolishly passed up an opportunity to join said individual's fledgling PMC called Fisk Securities. An increasingly out of touch dinosaur with the more "touchy feely" FBI, Blake never progressed beyond being a Senior Agent and was informed he should just take his pension.

      The Second Inquisition has changed matters as it has created a vast need for "experienced" personnel in dealing with Blank Bodies. Unfortunately, his politically incorrect sexist attitudes as well as strong sense of entitlement have already stymied what could have been a second chance for him. It did, however, expose him to reports that confirmed something that he long suspected: a lot of vampires were stupid rich.

      Sent to investigate the Chicago Circulatory System and realizing many vampires had vast networks of human trafficking rings or food sources, he managed to come up with a plan that would allow him to make him and a bunch of other associates a lot of money. Contacting one of his former associates in Wesley Sharpe and with the implicit blessing of Martin Fisk, he has since decided to make use of private contractor detention facilities overseen by the Department of Homeland Security to "disappear" detainees into the hands of vampires who want no-questions-asked meals.

      Wesley Sharpe is the psychopathic manager of the "Green Valley" facility in Chicago that is where large numbers of people are rounded up for deportation. While a Pentex employee, he is corrupt in a thoroughly mundane way and doesn't see any of the people under his care as human beings. Blake Tyler's plan is something that will make him more money but, honestly, he'd happily do it for free as he has a sadistic murderous personality that Pentex has cultivated.

      Brownyn has made contact with Blake Tyler and is actually more interested in pumping him for information about the Second Inquisition than she is about his "genius" plan. She can certainly get her own meals but this is a source of cheap disposable bulk goods, like a liquor surplus, that she's actually sending across the country to open new Circulatory System franchises. It's undermining her humanity more than it's already been but that's a small price to pay for what she's gathered. It helps that Blake is a loud mouth and easily manipulated even without disciplines.

      Ironically, despite going against every single element of the Second Inquisition's purpose, the person most likely to bring down Tyler's operation isn't his superior but another Kindred. Adze has stumbled upon this operation and while no saint, the Nosferatu's little remaining Humanity was affected by what is very much modern slavery. He is now looking for find some way to undermine this without exposing himself to backlash or hurting his own businesses.

      What Could Happen

      + Blake Tyler is an unstable sociopath who is is already drunk on both the power of his actions as well as the literal drugs he's started to take with his newfound wealth. At age 57, he doesn't think he'll have nearly enough time to enjoy his "retirement fund" even if it continues to pay out. As such, he plans to blackmail Bronwyn into making him a vampire. Bronwyn, furious about this, decides to just have him killed with a group of patsies to take him out as well as deal with the fallout from the Second Inquisition. PCs who investigate Blake before hand will find that he's easily controlled and would be ghoulable if they wanted to take over his operation.

      It would be a fast track to wassail, though.

      + Adze hires the PCs to destroy the human trafficking operation in a way that will humiliate the Second Inquisition, possibly have blow back on Bronwyn, and [most of all] not be traceable back to him. An easy way to do this would be to alert Blake's superiors and cause a minor uproar within the ranks of the Second Inquisition as they don't know how to deal with it. Unfortunately, this could just end up with Blake "disappeared" and Wesley Sharpe taking over without interruption.

      + The PCs accidentally make things worse by approaching Kevin Jackson. While he finds it distasteful, he actually rewards Bronwyn for her quick thinking and works to expand the network both to provide Kindred with more vessels as well as bend more Second Inquisition sources. The Second Inquisition soon finds a small civil war between those who want to work with the Kindred vs. those who find them abominations.

      + Amelia Locke is a good person for the PCs to contact if they want to seriously harm the Second Inquisition as a whole. While it threatens her life, the PCs life, and the Masquerade as a whole--if they expose the human trafficking ring as a whole then hundreds of potential people will be implicated. It will cause the Second Inquisition's SAD branch and many of its networks to fall under scrutiny and cause widespread disillusion within its ranks. It will also result in a Blood Hunt being declared on Bronwyn and her becoming a 2pt Enemy.

      + A potential wild card is if a group of Kinfolk get swept up into the Pentex/Second Inquisition operation and the werewolves believe that vampires are planning on eating their relatives. This may result in an end to the treaty that has held since Under a Blood Red Moon.
      Last edited by CTPhipps; 06-24-2020, 05:39 AM.


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

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      • #63
        this books is so awesome for V5 storytellers, currently running a couple of these for my new group; hope to see Modiphius put out more of these kinds of books.

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        • #64
          Originally posted by Joe View Post
          this books is so awesome for V5 storytellers, currently running a couple of these for my new group; hope to see Modiphius put out more of these kinds of books.
          100% agreed!


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

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          • #65
            Unholy Autopsy, Factory Farmed Fangs, and Captured!

            Cast: The Second Inquisition

            Synopsis: The Second Inquisition is kidnapping vampires in order to experiment on them.

            Analysis: This is a fairly straight forward set of adventures and ones that don't really need much explaining. The Second Inquisition is capturing vampires in Chicago and then subjecting them to horrific experiments in order to learn all of their weaknesses. The player characters can murder the first group of them quite easily (they're scientists not soldiers) but they will eventually end up captured by a second group that will put them to even greater tortures than the previous ones captured.

            One thing I really like about these adventures is the fact that they take into account the PCs might not react like a bunch of Intelligence 2 Brujah and bash up the place with a spiked bat. The smart play is to be like real like spies and attempt to convert the Second Inquisition facilities into tools against their masters. One ending even has the PCs taking over a military facility and turning it into their own personal supervillain lair as well as possessing a cadre of mad scientists.

            I admit part of what I like about these adventures is they can be very helpful to making the Second Inquisition utterly unsympathetic. Nothing quite says "Pulp Nazis" like a lair where a bunch of people perform horrific experiments on innocent people for questionable valure. Even if you think all Kindred deserve it, there's Thin Bloods, Ghouls, and the poor herds of Kine that might also be subject to experimentation. One of the doctors is actually sympathetic to the Kindred as well, finding their treatment barbaric.

            A good way to further expand on the Second Inquisition being a bunch of scumbags and not the hero antagonists of a vampire chronicle would be to have the scientists less concerned with eradicating or curing them then gaining their abilities. Plenty of Senators, CEOs, and soldiers would absolutely love to gain their share of Kindred powers with none of the weaknesses. There's even a group of them in the PROJECT: TWILIGHT called the Star Chamber. Basically, a billionaire's club that shares vampire blood among themselves to live forever.

            Good stuff.


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

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            • #66
              Oh Brother and an Errant Childe

              Cast: Claudi Aymerich, Melissa Aymerich [mortal]

              Synopsis: A former football player has become a serial killing Thin Bloods. Unfortunately, his sister has figured out he's a monster and made touch with the Society of Leopold.

              Analysis: This is a fairly standard but solid enough for a single-night story. The opening fiction is really what sells it. Claudi is a former football player (as mentioned above) who gets in an accident and is crippled from the waist down. Unable to deal with his condition, he gets involved in a "stem cell" program that ends up turning him into a Thin Blood. Unfortunately, Claudi reacts to this the way that a douchebag frat-bro sociopath would and starts going after beautiful women he drains dry. Claudi disappears into the big city and begins killing women one after the other in the manner that vampires are accustomed to (if they're Toreador Sabbat).

              The twist is that Melissa, Claudi's sister, has managed to track him down and has already witnessed him murdering someone. Her Reverend is, thankfully, a member of the Society of Leopold and convinced her that an alien parasite is possessing him. This would normally be a hard sell but I can actually believe it. If my late brother turned up and was suddenly a serial killer, I would actually be inclined to believe the alien/demon story over the infinitely more "realistic" answer that he faked his death and is now a murderer.

              The vast majority of player characters are not going to have any sympathy for Claudi and will want to eliminate him as (and I quote Dragon Age: Inquisition) the worst of their kind. Claudi's crimes are especially egregious because he's a Thin Blood and doesn't need to kill to survive. Killing for pleasure is still something a Thin Blood must but they can survive on blood that other Kindred would find nauseating. I think I made the statement in V20, "Animal blood tastes like a rancid pool to most vampires of lower generation. To Thin Blood, it's more like a flat beer. Not great but I can imagine someone drinking daily flat beers a lot more easily than the rancid pools." Hell, even if he did feed off women, nothing prevents him from leaving them alive. Thin Bloods do not hunger frenzy.

              You could potentially make Claudi a more sympathetic character-ish by lowering his generation but I think the fact he's a Thin Blood actually makes him more interesting. I also think there's some interesting avenues to explore in his origin story with the fake "stem cell" clinic. You could have a doctor who has been Embracing people as Thin Bloods because he doesn't see Thin Bloodedness as a curse. This gives the PCs a much bigger group to track down and potentially burn to the ground like Blaine's "mass embrace of rich people" in iZombie (great show for vampires--High Humanity Nagaraja!).

              Melissa is another character that could be very interesting to deal with. She's a very sympathetic character but I recommend that if you run this adventure that it ends with them having to execute her. Leaving hunters alive is something that is always going to bite players in the ass and there's no way to convince her they're not monsters. That's just my take on the subject at least.

              Notably, Claudi's stats reveal some things. He was embraced by Blue Serpent Operative 45#, which tells me that he was probably CREATED by the Second Inquisition as a study pool. That is another interesting angle to follow up on. Another possibility is he's a creation of Magadon Drugs. Weirdly, he also has Humanity 6, which I think is way too high.


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

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              • #67
                Severed Ties, Whizzkid, and Opportunity Knocks

                Cast: Sovereign, Bobby Weatherbottom, the Milliner family

                Synopsis: Sovereign has lost a lot of money thanks to the Hecate revolt and is not happy about it.

                Analysis: If you don't have anything resembling a conscience, it would seem that it would be a really good idea to get in on the Giovanni. I tend to think of Alan Sovereign as the kind of guy who thinks Pyramid Schemes are a great idea as long as you get in on the ground floor of them. The purpose of finance is to cheat after all and if you have any real risk involved, you are not doing it right.

                It's why I've always liked the character to an extent because he has a not inconsiderable resemblance to some of my father's friends (and probably my dad who I am not saying was a criminal but had an ethical fluidity regarding investment). I note this probably makes me one of the few people who actually LIKES Alan Sovereign as a character since "crooked white collar criminals" are not usually the most sympathetic of vampires. I suppose I always view him as the lesser evil compared to Ballard who I attribute all sorts of horrors.

                Anyway, Alan has lost a bunch of money with the Giovanni and can't get it back so he wants the player characters to hijack it back via the "Computer Thingie" (just imagining him doing air quotes in it). If they're Anarchs, I'm inclined to think that this is a great time to rob Sovereign and give a bunch of money to help the Moveemnt while showing their bonafides. Honestly, I think this is an adventure that works best if it's failed. I rarely say that but my idea is the PCs should do everything right and get within INCHES of the money only to have it snatched away at the last second--leaving them in debt to Sovereign.

                The player characters can then do the second part of the adventure where they break into a now-abandoned Giovanni Manor full of antiques ready for looting. I honestly feel this adventure feels a little down as if you're going to do that then I expect zombies, ghosts, and a feral ghoul who lives in the attic while loving Rocky Road (gratituous Goonies reference). I think this could be a good intro to the changes of the Hecata but need a Giovanni or Harbinger character to show up.

                Maybe Lord Camden (I consider the Gentleman Guides to be canon).


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

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                • #68
                  Waking Nightmares and Haunted House

                  Cast: The Gaunt Man, Shejana

                  Synopsis: The PCs are given the role of Scooby Doo villains to drive out the local Kindred from an affluent neighborhood.

                  Analysis: This is the final of the adventures for Mortals and Independents. I'm pleased to see that we've managed to get through most of the adventures of book. I don't know how much longer it'll be until LET THE STREETS RUN RED is out but I feel like we're getting there. As a result, we really should continue this review so we can read along when it's released.

                  The big thing about this adventure is that it reintroduces Shejana from CHICAGO BY NIGHT 2ND EDITION. I love Shejana, even if she deals with a subject that most gamers would not like to deal with. She is a Romani Ravnos who is also a Holocaust survivor. Yeah. That's some weighty stuff right there. Here, she's just been hired to use her Chimestry in order to terrorise the Parkie Mob and some other vampires living in territory the Hecate want (and probably controlled before they were driven out by their civil war).

                  This is, ironically, not a very serious plot despite Shejana's terrible history. The player characters are just meant to make the supernaturals fear they're in The Shining and get the hell out of dodge. Given that the Ocean View Hotel is the most terrifying level for most V:TM:Bloodlines players, this isn't necessarily a bad idea. It just runs the risk of them getting unmasked by some meddling kids and their talking dog. Hell, it's even a real estate scam like a typical Scooby Doo episode.

                  We don't get much insight into the Hecata because they won't "officially" be released until Cults of the Blood Gods is in print and that's a way's off still. Still, it's nice to see them incorporated and we'll get even more of it in the next section.


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

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                  • #69
                    Chapter Four: Heretical Threats and Observations

                    Basically, this is the Cults of the Blood Gods chapter. Written before the COTBG but definitely with an idea of what it would contain, this contains a bunch of adventure hooks and information about the various secrets and secret societies that made up the unpublished supplement. I should note this is my second favorite chapter and it has a lot of what you need to know about the Blood Cults in order to run them. I was especially fond of the Church of Caine section because, well, the Church of Caine is my favorite part of the Blood Gods cultists.

                    After we finish this section, it'll be off to NPCs and then Loresheets and finally rituals.

                    Some questions before we continue on:

                    * Anyone want more original content thrown in?

                    * Should we do a new thread for Let the Streets Run Red? This ran a bit longer than expected?

                    * Anything we should do further analysis on in the previous posts?


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

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                    • #70
                      Maybe do a separate thread for original content or how the official seeds played out in people's chronicles for other STs to use/spark ideas for their own chronicles?

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                      • #71
                        Church of Caine, Divine Intervention, Our Brother's Keeper, and Rebuilding the Church

                        Cast: Arden Canty, Joshua Tarponsky

                        Synopsis: Joshua has a struggle between his communist and Church of Caine beliefs. The Church has started building its ranks in Chicago in defiance of Critias as well as Jackson. The Anarchs are confused about what to make of this group.

                        Analysis: I admit to being a huge fan of The Church of Caine. Noddism is probably my single favorite element of Vampire: The Masquerade with it being up there with Anarchs, Chicago, and Lucita for things I am completely enamored of. The Church's doctrine may rely a bit too heavily on Gnosticism when I feel it should be Maltheism instead (Caine replacing Lucifer for standing up against God) but that's just my opinion. I love the Book of Nod and all of my characters tend to have a Caine-worshiping slant. So I'm extraordinarily happy that they brought the Church of Caine back for Cults of the Blood Gods.

                        Kudos also for including the song, "Kiss a Belle" from CBN in this bit. That was a nice continuity nod and I think the song is probably a remix of "Ring my Bell" from the 1970s. Then again, maybe I think the Blood Disco is a source for putting 70s music into Chicago. "Disco Inferno" for vampire hunting and "The Night Chicago Died" for fighting Al Capone. Okay, that was a weird digression.

                        The premise of this isn't so much explaining what the Church of Caine is up to in Chicago, though it does an excellent job of showing what sort of religion it is. It specifically describes it as more American Protestanism than Gnosticism. I found this interesting because it shows that the blood cults can vary from region to region. The part I really loved about this is that it gives an explanation of what happened to Chicago by Night 1st and 2nd Edition NPC Joshua "Blackjack" Tarponski. Apparently, he took over the city of Joliet (population: 153,000), Illinois from the Sabbat and declared it an Anarch Free State. While certainly no Chicago and only able to support a vampire and a half from "normal" numbers, it's still a pretty good sized Barony for a vampire like Joshua. After all, he's reasonably high Humanity and unlikely to kill people. I also liked the suggestion that Tyler may have helped him clear out the Sabbat in the area to make it his personal fiefdom.

                        This explains a lot of what I was wondering about Chicago's Anarchs as Joshua, despite being an old as fuck socialist, should really be a leader of the Anarchs. Having him leave with the rise of Jackson and others seems like its reasonable, though. With Critias siding with Jackson, it'd be suicide to remain and Joliet is certainly a better place to reside than Gary (though he could have taken that too).

                        Anyway, Joshua has apparently lost a Touchstone and turned to religion. Interestingly, this contradicts his communist views and is causing an internal struggle. I really like that. He wants to bow to no God or King but Caine is neither yet both.

                        Cool writing.
                        Last edited by CTPhipps; 07-27-2020, 03:02 AM.


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

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                        • #72
                          I'm running this particular story thread in my own chronicle. You hit on some of the elements that I felt I had to work out.. Joshua being a socialist and supporter of trade unionism (I distinguish socialism from communism, in the sense that, I don't believe Joshua was a supporter of Stalinism and that sort of "communism"). in life, and how those view translate into Kindred society? In my thinking,, he would not establish a typical "barony"; in which he was some sort of "boss", "warlord" or "gang leader". Instead, I think he'd look to form a union council, where all recognized anarchs with domain in Joliet would participate in the decision making of the barony by direct, popular vote. A domain consisting of one Kindred holding the tittle of baron is a bit silly, I decided Blackjack isn't the only anarch of Joliet. For ease, I quickly populated Joliet with the coterie from the Quickstart "The Monsters" and turning the sheriff, Samantha Stokes, into an Anarch "sweeper". I added two SPCs I made, and I had a reasonably sized anarch barony.

                          Enter The Church of Caine. The Church of Caine has strong roots in the Sabbat, and I think between Tyler and Joshua's direct hand in battling the Sabbat, he'd have an inkling of the Church of Caine's origins. I just don't see him "turning to religion", and if he did, it's hard to believe he'd go along with the Church of Caine. In my story, the entrance of the Church of Caine was made by popular vote. The Deacon prevailed in a social combat with one of the PCs in my chronicle. The PC ardently opposed the Church of Caine's entrance into the domain. The motion to allow them to re-establish domain barely passed, with the prevailing argument being "Kindred should have freedom of conscious, to choose if they wish, religious beliefs, as long as those don't undermine the principles of the status perfectus.". The younger anarchs found this particularily compelling since the previous Deacon, Simon, died in a fire set by alleged Bahari cultists. Unwilling to appeal intolerant and close-minded, the vote to allow domain in Joliet prevailed.

                          I've plans to have a traditional Sabbat in the now closed down Joliet prison, replete with "fleshy horrors" (and maybe even a circle of Blood Brothers) responsible for some future mayhem, that's attributed to the Church of Caine. I think there's some traction for -exploring themes of political horror via religious persecution and prejudice. Having said that, there might be other reasons for the PC to want to give the Church of Caine the boot, but I'll get to that once I have the Cults of the Blood Gods. Naturally, this second chapter of the story will take a bit to implement since I've months to go before the release of Cults of the Blood Gods.

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                          • #73
                            Originally posted by Ruthven View Post
                            I'm running this particular story thread in my own chronicle. You hit on some of the elements that I felt I had to work out.. Joshua being a socialist and supporter of trade unionism (I distinguish socialism from communism, in the sense that, I don't believe Joshua was a supporter of Stalinism and that sort of "communism"). in life, and how those view translate into Kindred society? In my thinking,, he would not establish a typical "barony"; in which he was some sort of "boss", "warlord" or "gang leader". Instead, I think he'd look to form a union council, where all recognized anarchs with domain in Joliet would participate in the decision making of the barony by direct, popular vote. A domain consisting of one Kindred holding the tittle of baron is a bit silly, I decided Blackjack isn't the only anarch of Joliet. For ease, I quickly populated Joliet with the coterie from the Quickstart "The Monsters" and turning the sheriff, Samantha Stokes, into an Anarch "sweeper". I added two SPCs I made, and I had a reasonably sized anarch barony.

                            Enter The Church of Caine. The Church of Caine has strong roots in the Sabbat, and I think between Tyler and Joshua's direct hand in battling the Sabbat, he'd have an inkling of the Church of Caine's origins. I just don't see him "turning to religion", and if he did, it's hard to believe he'd go along with the Church of Caine. In my story, the entrance of the Church of Caine was made by popular vote. The Deacon prevailed in a social combat with one of the PCs in my chronicle. The PC ardently opposed the Church of Caine's entrance into the domain. The motion to allow them to re-establish domain barely passed, with the prevailing argument being "Kindred should have freedom of conscious, to choose if they wish, religious beliefs, as long as those don't undermine the principles of the status perfectus.". The younger anarchs found this particularily compelling since the previous Deacon, Simon, died in a fire set by alleged Bahari cultists. Unwilling to appeal intolerant and close-minded, the vote to allow domain in Joliet prevailed.

                            I've plans to have a traditional Sabbat in the now closed down Joliet prison, replete with "fleshy horrors" (and maybe even a circle of Blood Brothers) responsible for some future mayhem, that's attributed to the Church of Caine. I think there's some traction for -exploring themes of political horror via religious persecution and prejudice. Having said that, there might be other reasons for the PC to want to give the Church of Caine the boot, but I'll get to that once I have the Cults of the Blood Gods. Naturally, this second chapter of the story will take a bit to implement since I've months to go before the release of Cults of the Blood Gods.
                            Excellent write-up and very good interpretation of events.

                            My thoughts on it that are slightly different?

                            + I think Joshua Tarponski comes from a time when communism had a slightly different attitude in America and there's actually a fascinating history of workers who weren't aware of the atrocities going on in Soviet Russia but actually bought into the "Worker's Paradise" portion of events. A lot of this happened in the Great Depression and lost a lot of support when the Soviet Union encouraged its leaders (who really were compromised by foreign agents) to throw workers under the bus to get the United States to come in on behalf of the Union against the Nazis. This is even more interesting with black American communists who had associated the movement with racial equality only to find out, well, it was under the command of people who didn't give a shit about it. Joshua himself would identify as a socialist but I also think he's got more than a little "red tinge" to him due to his time period and place. Interestingly, I tend to think of Joshua and Al Capone as mortal enemies due to the fact the mafia eventually took over a lot of the Unions that red-orientated socialists like Joshua had fought to establish.

                            + The Church of Caine is notably the most anti-Sabbat organization probably in existence you're going to find in V5. The organization pretty much advocating for the complete annihilation and death of every single person who is part of the Sword of Caine. While Arden is an ex-Sabbat, he's a guy who defected to the Church of Caine because of his realization they're irredeemably evil. I find that an interesting angle to pursue that while the Church of Caine does have some "defectors", they're people more like Ayn Rand to the Soviet Union than Sabbat in America. They HATE the Sabbat as perverting and destroying the basis of their religion. They're the regular Islam vs. Sabbat's ISIS take on Noddism. The Path of Heaven vs. The Path of the Devil.

                            + I'm inclined to think that Joshua's fascination with the Church of Caine comes from the contradictory facts that he comes from a religious background but gave it up because there was no proof. Except, vampires by definition are proof of the supernatural. Having lived long enough to be an Ancilla bordering on Elder (at least in America), he's struggling with some existential questions that the Church of Caine provides answers for. The occult and supernatural aren't things he normally delves into but like Al Capone and Golconda, all aging Kindred are going to eventually have things they want to research beyond their mortal years.

                            + I'm inclined to think that Joshua settling in as ruler of Joliet is a good idea of showing the hypocrisies inherent to the Anarch Movement. He moved out of Chicago to give the young ones a chance to breathe but is going to be someone who rules as Baron because he needs his own territory to rule over as a vampire biological imperiative. You can come to "his" place and abide by his rules and he'll treat you as a guest. But I imagine Joshua as a vampire suffering greatly from, "I am getting too old for this shit."
                            Last edited by CTPhipps; 07-27-2020, 10:31 PM.


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

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                            • #74
                              The Church of Set and Eating its Own Tail

                              Cast: Marcel, Salt, Thea Noel-MacCrain, Reverend "Twosret" Sarah P. Donnadieu

                              Synopsis: A plot on Marcel's life is hatched

                              Analysis: This book confirms that there's been either a retcon or a change in depiction for the Ministry from their appearance in The Anarch to Cults of the Blood Gods. Maybe it was always intended this way and it's only changed in what we, the fans, know. Anyway, this section opens with the following interesting paragraph.

                              To the outside observer, the schism within the Followers of Set that created the Ministry was a simple rebrand to make the Setites more palatable in Camarilla and Anarch domains. The truth is more nuanced. While the majority of the clan sided with the Anarch Movement following the aborted Camarilla petition in Paris, the orthodox Church of Set continued on, and its most loyal adherents look dimly on the Ministry, while adopting outcasts from other clans who might share their faith.

                              I really like this because I've always felt the Followers of Set could use a bit more splits on orthodox lines. I always liked the conflict between the Voudan practicioners of the Serpents of Light vs. the Followers of Set with neither side having moral high ground really but a slight edge to the Sabbat [a rare enough occurrence]. I have to wonder if the Serpents of Light left the Sabbat to do their own thing and are a part of the Ministry now.

                              Anyway, another reason I like this plot is the fact that it is a direct continuation of the one in Beckett's Jyhad Diary. There, the Church of Set orthodox factions were murdering and torturing anyone who worshiped Set in a different way or didn't worship Set at all. This seems to have backfired horribly and created the formal split within their ranks. I've always found it amusing that a God of Chaos would have an "orthodox" fundamentalist branch but that is no different than Jesus having knights I suppose.

                              This adventure really just amounts to someone wanting to assassinate Marcel for being a heretic. I find this a bit humorous because I get the impression Marcel is running a "drug and sex" cult to Set, which is the most stereotypical thing that you can do as a Setite. He's a member of the Ministry but I think that's because I don't think Marcel is actually the kind of guy who has the innate nightmarish EVIL to follow the Path of Typhon. He's too easy going and really his Set worship is one big party [That's just my take on him anyway].

                              The game suggests multiple angles to follow this but I think the best way to do it is SITH ACADEMY style where you plot against one then plot against the other before either going against both or realizing one is objectively worse. This is a reference to KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC, fyi, where you can play A Fistfull of Dollars with two feuding Sith Academy teachers.


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

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                              • #75
                                The Black Water, Auguries, Snatch and Slash

                                Cast: Lester Knife

                                Synopsis: The things beneath Lake Michigan stir and Lester wants out.

                                Analysis: I've always been a fan of Lester Knife and think he's one of the more interesting chaarcters of Chicago by Night. The idea of a poor, average, working class Native American janitor caught doing regular human sacrifices to the monsters underneath an apartment building is some grade-A Call of Cthulhu shit that is much better horror than a typical vampire story.

                                This reminds me strongly of the DARK AGES CLAN BOOK: BAALI and its take on them. Vampire is usually the opposite of COC horror because vampires are very much the opposite of alien cosmic horror. They are, in fact, incredibly human and their curse only is a curse if they feel the very human emotions of guilt. The idea of making the Baali have a kind of horrifying The Cabin in the Woods job of placating the unfathomably evil Children with human sacrifices, rape, and Shaitan knows what else is a fascinating concept. Albeit, it is not one that I would ever have the PCs deal with. Poor Lester has a somewhat lighter version of this and he could just be feeding a single Elder or bunch of Elders with his human sacrifices.

                                The ethical dilemma of Lester is an interesting one as you don't know what he's keeping placated down below or even if he has a choice in how he responds to it. Forget V5 level caps, if an Elder with Dominate 5-9 is down there then Lester is not responsible for any of his actions. Lambach Ruthven is an incredibly powerful Tzimisce but the Eldest is fully capable of (and did) leave him as a mewling baby.

                                Introducing the player characters to figuring out what to do about the Monster in the BasementTM is an interesting one, especially if the building is full of innocents. However, I admit, my player characters are likely to have the view of driving a gasoline truck into the place and then having another gasoline truck nearby in case it survives. The average player character is not going to want to submit to the idea of "some lives to keep something at bay." Especially since it's entirely probable that the SOMETHING is getting stronger the more it is fed.

                                It's not necessarily a vampire either as this is a good opportunity to introduce Banes, demons, or other THINGS to your World of Darkness.

                                An interesting twist on this could also be that Lester is NOT feeding some kind of Lovecraftian Horror but a very normal Kindred in a kind of perverse version of Scooby Doo. Imagine it turning out to be Edgar Drummond, the train enthusiast from 1st Edition CBN, or something like Pearl from Blade.


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

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