Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

[V5] [WIR] The Chicago Folios - Completed 9/19/2020

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • [V5] [WIR] The Chicago Folios - Completed 9/19/2020



    Hey folks,

    I admit I have been waiting for this for some time. I was an initial backer of CHICAGO BY NIGHT's Kickstarter and it is a major reason that I returned in full force to Vampire: The Masquerade. Beckett's Jyhad Diary had brought me back after a ten year absence but the characters of Chicago are some of my all-time favorites. They're as close to me as Luke Skywalker and Frodo are to other fans.

    One of the things I loved about CBN5E's Kickstarter was that it succeeded enough to have two supplement books added to it. As much as I love V5, I have to say it has been a bit dry on the content side. This is because they've been exploring multimedia options but every additional book is something I appreciate. There's still a lot of subjects ranging from the Sabbat to the Tzimisce and Ravnos that still need to be covered.

    As of this post, LTTSRR hasn't been released but it seems close and it seems like a good time to crack open my physical copy of TCF and review it. I hope people will join me in this WIR as well as share their own thoughts on characters as well as concepts. I also welcome commentary as well as criticism or discussion of points.

    FYI - Starting commentary but the guy on THE CHICAGO FOLIOS has no respect for the Masquerade. Wait until they're in an alley!

    The Chicago Folios

    Modern Times (Fiction)

    The Camarilla

    Introduction and The Camarilla
    The Once and Future King, Bottom Rung, and I Live with Bread Like You
    The Tortoise and the Hare, Who's Afraid of the Big, Bad Wolf, and In and Out
    Iron Fist: Velvet Glove, Fountain of Knowledge, Long Live the Prince
    From the Ground Up, Grindstone, and Impresario
    Good evening Nightwalkers, Nightwalking
    Barroom Brawl and Handling Gengis
    The Unfortunate Embrace, More Complicated than it seems, and Shut it Down
    Chance Encounters with Hunters and Beware the Huntsmen
    Dearest Club Member and Exclusive Invitation
    Help for Hire - Warehouse Rebuilding, Seeking Employment

    The Anarchs

    The Anarch Account
    Beckoning Whispers and Reopening a Cold Case
    Outrunning the Past and a Desperate Rescue
    Flowers in the Garden, The Lilies, and Words from the Blood
    Changeling Allegiance, An Explosive Entrance, Flames Spread
    Boyce's Advice and An Anarch May look at the Prince
    Mendoza is Dead and Mixing it Up
    The List of Ten, Who Made the Deal?, What Would Tyler Do?
    Revenge is Sweet, The Plan, The Attack
    The Traditions: A Feminist Perspective, At the Rant, About the Data Stick

    Independent and Mortal Perspectives

    Independents and Mortals
    Bad Medicine, Light Up The Night, Surgical Strike
    Unholy Autopsy, Factory Farmed Fangs, and Captured!
    Oh Brother and an Errant Childe
    Severed Ties, Whizzkid, and Opportunity Knocks
    Waking Nightmares and Haunted House

    Heretical Threats and Observations

    Heretical Threats and Observations
    Church of Caine, Divine Intervention, Our Brother's Keeper, and Rebuilding the Church
    Joshua Tarponski by Ruthven
    Joshua Tarponski rebuttal
    The Church of Set and Eating its Own Tail
    The Black Water, Auguries, Snatch and Slash
    The Ashfinders, The Most Dangerous Game, The Little Village Inferno, Reign of Ashe
    The Seven Fires
    The Bahari
    The Cult of Mithras
    The Cult of Shalim

    NPCs

    Banu Haqim
    Brujah
    Caitiff
    Gangrel
    Lasombra
    Nosferatu
    Toreador
    Tremere
    Ventrue part 1
    Ventrue part 2

    Loresheets

    Part 1
    Part 2
    Part 3

    Original

    Love be an Anarch (adventure)
    On the Way to Ford's Theater (adventure)
    Joliet Corrections Center (location)
    The Fate of Lorraine (NPCs)
    Human Resources (adventure)

    WIR Links

    Anarchs Unbound
    Beckett's Jyhad Diary
    Chicago by Night 5th Edition
    The Chicago Folios
    The Gary Chronicles
    Project: Twilight
    Last edited by CTPhipps; 09-22-2020, 10:14 AM.


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

  • #2
    Opening Fiction: Modern Times

    Cast: The Wolf Pack, Kevin Jackson

    Synopsis: The Wolf Pack finds that serving Kevin Jackson is harder than serving Lodin. After a mission gone wrong, they find themselves ambushed by the Second Inquisition and then decide to start recruiting an army of Kindred.

    Analysis: The Wolf Pack showed up in the opening fiction of Chicago by Night but it was to show that they weren't keeping with the times. Kevin Jackson didn't much care for their attempts to fight the Anarchs, the Anarchs were a lot more dangerous than they used to be, and were sent out to Seattle with one of Jackson's brothers. I've always liked the Wolf Pack but understand why they had to be cut because 4-5 Elder Archons kicking ass and taking names doesn't really lend itself to KJ's empire being unstable. Removing them from KJ's sphere makes it so the Anarchs and his rivals have a much better chance of taking him out. Also, the Wolf Pack is now among those who might [albeit they still seem to be stuck in Camarilla loyalty mode].

    This story picks up some months later with the Wolf Pack burying the ashes of Ramrod after he was killed by an Anarch (implied to be Sergeant Duncan MacTavish). Their newly Embraced ghoul, Nadine, is almost broken by this and tries to quit the group before Anthius and Tyrus convince her they're a found family. Which is missing the point that they just lost a member of their found family (and a few others) for nothing.

    I must say that I'm not particularly impressed by Kevin Jackson's style of Princeship as he needlessly antagonises the Wolfpack and may actually have tipped off the Second Inquisition to their location. Getting them out of town is one thing [and even that is a somewhat stupid decision] but alienating them directly and possibly starting a battle with them is something else. Certainly, a smarter Prince would just use them as a resource like La Croix could have with the Fledgling once his various suicide missions failed.

    I'm not sure about KJ's motives here but it seems to be that he resents the fact that Archons are above his paygrade. It's mentioned that they're immune to Blood Hunts and only by summoning a Justicar can they have their status recinded and be put to the torch. The Wolf Pack is something of a "loophole", though since they're Gangrel and Geoffrey Leigh has lost his Justicar position due to the fact the Gangrel have formally joined the Anarchs. Interestingly, it says he "walked out with Theo" and that TOTALLY surprises me.

    I also think Kevin Jackson has something of a delusion of being a softer touch than Lodin as he gets into fights with the Wolf Pack twice about them being "too loud." Given that Kevin is using Damien and his other Hounds to put Anarchs to the torch as well as inviting ex-Sabbat to join the Camarilla, I think this is projection on his part. He doesn't like anyone not firmly under his thumb. Running a mature R-rated game, I'd also speculate that KJ dislikes the Wolf Pack because of their biker attitude and association with Kine motorcycle clubs that are less than friendly to black people. This despite Nadine being an Asian American.

    The ending where they've started to build their own army of Kindred and train them as new Archons is an interesting one because that IS a direct challenge to the power of the Prince. The irony is that people like Mark Decker show that Gangrel like Tyrus or Anthius could probably claim a territory like Chicago and rule it directly for the Camarilla. However, they're close to being their own sort of Anarch Free State. KJ has managed to make them a direct threat to his power, even though they're Camarilla loyalists--but, well, so was Theo Bell.

    Interestingly, it's stated that Inyanga was Beckoned here and that's the first sign we have the Laibon are suffering from it as well as "traditional" Gangrel.
    Last edited by CTPhipps; 05-14-2020, 04:59 PM.


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

    Comment


    • #3
      Love Kevin! And at the same time ,i wonder if he didn't bit more than he could chew,he still only has Fortitude 3 if recall correctly . he can be killed if he angers an political enemy in his sect or another

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Nicolas Milioni View Post
        Love Kevin! And at the same time ,i wonder if he didn't bit more than he could chew,he still only has Fortitude 3 if recall correctly . he can be killed if he angers an political enemy in his sect or another
        Part of the fun/oddity of it is the fact that the Wolf Pack is not a bunch of angry Neonate Bikers, they're a pair of centuries-old Elders who are Camarilla Hitmen with ties to the Justicars. If he did call a Justicar against them, I'm pretty sure he'd get told to **** off and for the Primogen to select a new Prince.

        Which I think KJ gets since he doesn't.

        He just does not like them, though. It makes me wonder if he also let the Anarchs know about their presence.


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

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

          Part of the fun/oddity of it is the fact that the Wolf Pack is not a bunch of angry Neonate Bikers, they're a pair of centuries-old Elders who are Camarilla Hitmen with ties to the Justicars. If he did call a Justicar against them, I'm pretty sure he'd get told to **** off and for the Primogen to select a new Prince.

          Which I think KJ gets since he doesn't.

          He just does not like them, though. It makes me wonder if he also let the Anarchs know about their presence.
          Have you noticed thst Bobby Weatherborn works like an anarch mirror of KJ? Bobby was forced to become a Vampire by Lodin,Kevin consented. Bobby truly loves his wife,but in his bloodlust put her in a coma for he needeed to feed on her.
          Kevin loves his family,but in powerlust has embraced them for he needed people under his thumb in other cities...

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
            Opening Fiction: Modern Times

            Cast: The Wolf Pack, Kevin Jackson

            Synopsis: The Wolf Pack finds that serving Kevin Jackson is harder than serving Lodin. After a mission gone wrong, they find themselves ambushed by the Second Inquisition and then decide to start recruiting an army of Kindred.

            Analysis: The Wolf Pack showed up in the opening fiction of Chicago by Night but it was to show that they weren't keeping with the times. Kevin Jackson didn't much care for their attempts to fight the Anarchs, the Anarchs were a lot more dangerous than they used to be, and were sent out to Seattle with one of Jackson's brothers. I've always liked the Wolf Pack but understand why they had to be cut because 4-5 Elder Archons kicking ass and taking names doesn't really lend itself to KJ's empire being unstable. Removing them from KJ's sphere makes it so the Anarchs and his rivals have a much better chance of taking him out. Also, the Wolf Pack is now among those who might [albeit they still seem to be stuck in Camarilla loyalty mode].

            This story picks up some months later with the Wolf Pack burying the ashes of Ramrod after he was killed by an Anarch (implied to be Sergeant Duncan MacTavish). Their newly Embraced ghoul, Nadine, is almost broken by this and tries to quit the group before Anthius and Tyrus convince her they're a found family. Which is missing the point that they just lost a member of their found family (and a few others) for nothing.

            I must say that I'm not particularly impressed by Kevin Jackson's style of Princeship as he needlessly antagonises the Wolfpack and may actually have tipped off the Second Inquisition to their location. Getting them out of town is one thing [and even that is a somewhat stupid decision] but alienating them directly and possibly starting a battle with them is something else. Certainly, a smarter Prince would just use them as a resource like La Croix could have with the Fledgling once his various suicide missions failed.

            I'm not sure about KJ's motives here but it seems to be that he resents the fact that Archons are above his paygrade. It's mentioned that they're immune to Blood Hunts and only by summoning a Justicar can they have their status recinded and be put to the torch. The Wolf Pack is something of a "loophole", though since they're Gangrel and Geoffrey Leigh has lost his Justicar position due to the fact the Gangrel have formally joined the Anarchs. Interestingly, it says he "walked out with Theo" and that TOTALLY surprises me.

            I also think Kevin Jackson has something of a delusion of being a softer touch than Lodin as he gets into fights with the Wolf Pack twice about them being "too loud." Given that Kevin is using Damien and his other Hounds to put Anarchs to the torch as well as inviting ex-Sabbat to join the Camarilla, I think this is projection on his part. He doesn't like anyone not firmly under his thumb. Running a mature R-rated game, I'd also speculate that KJ dislikes the Wolf Pack because of their biker attitude and association with Kine motorcycle clubs that are less than friendly to black people. This despite Nadine being an Asian American.

            The ending where they've started to build their own army of Kindred and train them as new Archons is an interesting one because that IS a direct challenge to the power of the Prince. The irony is that people like Mark Decker show that Gangrel like Tyrus or Anthius could probably claim a territory like Chicago and rule it directly for the Camarilla. However, they're close to being their own sort of Anarch Free State. KJ has managed to make them a direct threat to his power, even though they're Camarilla loyalists--but, well, so was Theo Bell.

            Interestingly, it's stated that Inyanga was Beckoned here and that's the first sign we have the Laibon are suffering from it as well as "traditional" Gangrel.
            I think it's made pretty clear that KJ doesn't want the Wolf Pack around and is actively working to rid himself and his city of the gangrel, going as far as leaking their position to the second inquisition (who for some reason attacked by night instead of waiting for the dawn...).

            What I found disgusting is the fact that despite knowing this the Wolf Pack is still willing to work for the Camarilla as enforcers and militias...

            Edit: I also question your use of the word "archons" here. The Wolf Pack is not composed by Archons. In the very same fiction discussed here is made clear they are not as what gets KJ to let them go (before sending the inquisition after them...) is the suggestion he calls an Archon and lets him sort the situation out (possibly meaning said Archon could terminate the whole wolf pack).
            Last edited by Haquim; 05-14-2020, 06:18 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Haquim View Post

              I think it's made pretty clear that KJ doesn't want the Wolf Pack around and is actively working to rid himself and his city of the gangrel, going as far as leaking their position to the second inquisition (who for some reason attacked by night instead of waiting for the dawn...).

              What I found disgusting is the fact that despite knowing this the Wolf Pack is still willing to work for the Camarilla as enforcers and militias...
              I think it's jealousy to an extent given they are Archons (take note that they are listed as such as a Loresheet).

              Edit: I also question your use of the word "archons" here. The Wolf Pack is not composed by Archons. In the very same fiction discussed here is made clear they are not as what gets KJ to let them go (before sending the inquisition after them...) is the suggestion he calls an Archon and lets him sort the situation out (possibly meaning said Archon could terminate the whole wolf pack).
              *consults PDF*

              I think it was calling a Justicar as opposed to an Archon. If the Wolf Pack were just a bunch of Camarilla loyalists, KJ could just call a Blood Hunt on them and make up a reason later.

              Originally posted by 6 out of 177
              “Call a Justicar.” Dread’s voice was quiet but tinged with fury.

              Jackson narrowed his eyes.

              Dread wasn’t sure if the Prince was offended that he spoke out of turn, or surprised that the Gangrel spoke up at all. Dread locked his gaze with the Prince. “It’s proper procedure. A Justicar liquidates us, chooses a successor, and life goes on. But which one? Geoffrey walked out with Theo years ago. Once the city knows we’re ash, everyone will wonder which clan you chose to replace us, and why. So you either have to take it further upstairs to keep the peace, or you do something right here, right now.”


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

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

                I think it's jealousy to an extent given they are Archons (take note that they are listed as such as a Loresheet).



                *consults PDF*

                I think it was calling a Justicar as opposed to an Archon. If the Wolf Pack were just a bunch of Camarilla loyalists, KJ could just call a Blood Hunt on them and make up a reason later.
                Yes, it appears I misremembered that passage, my bad. Btw note how Dread manages to antagonize the prince by calling him out on his personal power. KJ doesn't have the personal power to take on the whole wolf pack (possibly not even one of its members) and he knows this so he's forced to let them go. He then proceeds to have them killed by the second inquisition...

                Comment


                • #9
                  FYI - I added links to all my previous WIR in case people want to catch up on those.

                  Originally posted by Haquim View Post

                  Yes, it appears I misremembered that passage, my bad. Btw note how Dread manages to antagonize the prince by calling him out on his personal power. KJ doesn't have the personal power to take on the whole wolf pack (possibly not even one of its members) and he knows this so he's forced to let them go. He then proceeds to have them killed by the second inquisition...
                  Indeed.

                  They see the Emperor has new clothes and that infuriates Kevin Jackson. Of course, there's no proof he did send the Second Inquisition after them. It's possible that the team that attacked them found them independently (or has a bug in Kevin's office). It's also possible that they were mercenaries deployed by Jackson himself. I think there's enough wiggle room that its debatable even if the Occam's Razor answer is that KJ wanted to take them out.

                  As for why they attacked during the night? Well, humans make mistakes. Ironically, they were probably wise to because the Wolf Pack would Earthmeld and thus are immune to the typical "attack during the day" method.


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

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Introduction

                    What is The Chicago Folios ABOUT, really? Well, for the most part, it is an adventure hook collection. It contains a substantial chunk of NPCs, some Loresheets, and a bunch of Thaumaturgy rituals but the big chunk of the book is about a hundred or so Adventure Hooks. They're not as developed as full-length chronicles like "The Sacrifice" or Nights of Prophecy but are basically a half-page to pages of describing a scenario the PCs can become involved in. It's a loose outline that lists the people involved, the situation, and a few ideas on how they may play out. The majority of work is still in the hands of the Storyteller but it can give you a night or two of gaming if you are in need of ideas for a quick game.

                    I personally think this is great and it reminds me strongly of THE SUCCUBUS CLUB supplement that was created in 1992. The Succubus Club is like a combination of The Chicago Folios and Let the Streets Run Red in that it contained a bunch of adventure hooks and ideas as well as some full length adventures. I don't recall the Succubus Club adventures being very good but their adventure hooks were very useful to me as an early storyteller.



                    I'm not going to analyze every single adventure hook of this book individually, which would take forever but am going to handle them roughly 2 or 3 at a time along with their little tidbits of fiction. They're divided into Camarilla, Anarch, Independent, and Second Inquisition sections that nicely divide them up. Obviously, there's also some crossover between some like when Kevin Jackson puts Gengis on trial.

                    Really, before we begin, I'm going to say the best part of this book is probably the NPC section. This includes a decent-sized chunk of NPCs that were left behind from Chicago by Night (particularly the Wolf Pack) plus some solid new creations. I am particularly fond of Joseph Peterson's childe, a Russian fighter pilot from WW2, and a Tremere antiribu priest of the Cainite Heresy. I look forward to getting to that section.

                    Either way, I think this is a solid supplement to people who want an easy game out of the box. Most of these hooks can be used without Chicago and you just have to change the names to make them work. To use the "Kevin Jackson puts Gengis on trial" scenario, for instance, you just have to change the names as a Prince being forced to put his compromised agent on trial is a scenario that would work for most clever Princes.

                    Chapter One: The Camarilla

                    This is the Camarilla section of the book. There's not much to say before now, other than the book says, "These adventures are set in Chicago but you don't need to set them in Chicago. While this is a questionable assertion, I actually tend to agree with the writers as the majority of the adventures in The Chicago Folios can be pretty easily adapted to new vampire NPCs and are generic enough to work with some modification.

                    The first section is about the Camarilla and this is obvious because almost all games are about the Camarilla in V:TM. Even Anarch games are about the Camarilla. It's inescapable and really what everyone thinks when they think "vampire." I will say they chose a nice piece of art to open it because it's Damien having a gun pointed at a Skinhead with Jackson egging him on to execute him. It also starts with the quote of Jackson killing Raymond Wallace.

                    “You can beg and grovel and plead, but if you can’t even uphold six simple laws, what’s the point of you?”

                    If you don't remember Raymond Wallace, that's because the Anarch NPCs of Chicago by Night 2nd Edition were almost painfully generic. They seem to have been killed off along with the Sabbat pack and other characters as a way of establishing KJ's badass credentials in cleaning up the city. Even as an Anarch fan, Raymond is no great loss as I can't remember anything about him and I have an almost eidatic memory for vampire trivia. I'd argue I could go round for round with Matthew Dawkins and possibly win 3/10 matches and HE LITERALLY WROTE for the Vampire trivia game.

                    Raymond? Complete blank.

                    Edit: Having looked at my PDF collection, Raymond Wallace was an Anarch serial killer from New Orleans that used the Movement to justify his hobby of murder. Honestly, it's rather impressive that they made that character so boring.

                    Anyway, onto the adventure hooks.
                    Last edited by CTPhipps; 05-20-2020, 08:48 AM.


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

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The Once and Future King, Bottom Rung, and I Live with Bread Like You

                      Cast: Olaf One-Eye, Terry "T-Bone" Jenkins [mortal], Michelle Jacobs [mortal]

                      Synopsis: The first piece of fiction helps establish that Olaf is completely insane and ruling over a court of very befuddled low-level gangsters. The second is the PCs get wrangled up in a hit on a prostitute enslaved by Olaf One Eye. She's run away and it's their job to get her back. The third is when they've finally met Olaf and have the chance to discover his true identity that could mean a major boon from the Prince.

                      Analysis: This bit opens with a bit of fiction that really deserved it's own section. Apparently, Olaf One-Eye isn't just Lodin in a really sorry state. Olaf One-Eye is Malkavian bugshit nuts. He literally sits on a throne in the middle of an abandoned building with a fake crown and makes Shakespearian commentary to his increasingly bewildered followers. It's very much like Olaf is a Batman villain and not one of the cool ones either but a lame one-shot one like the Sewer King or a D-lister like the Ventriloquist.



                      The crew tolerates Olaf because he gets results but, unlike The Ventriloquist, it's a bit more justified because no matter how much of a hardass gangster you are, Olaf has f***ing Presence and Dominate. If he wants you to play Henry the 8th then you will play Henry the 8th.

                      Oddly, this makes Olaf an interesting counterpart to Modius. Modius was introduced as a Prince who was basically living like The Fall of the House of Usher and Ms. Havisham from Great Expectations in his decaying Gary mansion while pretending he was still a Prince. The joke being that Modius, despite being a complete loser, is STILL a f***ing century-old 7th generation Elder so screwing with him was dangerous. Even in his diminished state, Olaf has more dignity than Modius because he has an army of murderous thugs and is King of the Homeless. One might argue that Olaf's insanity makes him pitable but you never forget he's dangerous unlike the Prince of Gary. Still, I kind of wonder how Modius would react to Olaf? Point and laugh? Diablerie? Or uncomfortable realization of similarities.

                      The premise of the adventure is disturbing and nicely street level. One of Olaf's pimps [he is the ruler of Riverdale, population 7000] has lost a girl while the PCs are wandering through town. Olaf demands that they make a show of fealty by killing the girl. The options upfront are to kill the girl, refuse to help, or persuade her back into sex slavery. I feel like this is a interesting premise but 99% of all characters are going to refuse outright. Ways that could be used to spruce it up are:

                      * The girl murdered one of Olaf's men and robbed him to get out.
                      * She might have actually stabbed one of her fellow girls and robbed her.
                      * She ran away to join another gang that is going to be just as bad if not worse.
                      * The girl's parents are rich and will pay for her return and rehab versus actually getting someone.
                      * The PCs can "buy out her debt" and be all charitable. Even if the woman won't particularly appreciate it or care.
                      * The prostitute was a spy for Annabelle and Olaf wants her dead for that reason as she knows his true identity.
                      * The PCs are in Riverdale because the missing prostitute is actually a lost cousin, niece, or highschool crush. This firmly sets them against Olaf.

                      Really, even if the PCs are assholes, they have no reason to serve as hitmen for a vampire they've never met and isn't the recognized ruler of the domain. Either way, if the player characters do meet with Olaf One-Eye, he attempts to make them his minions. This is noteworthy for the fact that Olaf is a character who once commanded nations but as the Prince/Baron/Hobo King of Riverdale, he's not exactly someone who is going to impress most. They won't be able to tell Olaf is Lodin, however, even if they're old enough to have met Lodin before 1994. Wow, 26 years. Where does the time go?

                      The adventure hook from here is figuring out what to do with Lodin/Olaf. The smart play would be to tell Kevin Jackson about Olaf's true identity and he'll have his former sire murdered. Honestly, I'm inclined to think Kevin Jackson would be a bit more circumspect. He'd probably want Olaf alive both to confirm his existence and to also hold him prisoner so he can interrogate him of any secrets he might have. This might not be the smart play but I imagine KJ has very complicated feelings toward his sire. That and taking him (un)alive is more difficult for PCs to accomplish. If you want to make an enemy of KJ, you might also have him "thank" the players by sending his minions after them so he can get rid of any witnesses who know Lodin is still alive.

                      I don't think the adventure hook gives much reason to work with Lodin as joining his "network" is basically becoming the head of a bunch of homeless people and really-really low level gangsters, pimps, and drug dealers. Most vampires would have higher aspirations than that. To give an example, Riverdale has 7000 people. Gary, Indiana has 75,000 people. So, yes, working for Modius is actually x10 more dignified than Olaf right now.

                      However, I'd oddly use Olaf as a chance to do The Goonies. Hear me out. Basically, if the PCs do realize he's Lodin, they might figure out that there's a lot of secrets stuffed away in that head even if they're now very much like a Malkavian's. This could be safety deposit boxes, secret Swiss bank accounts, secret filing cabinets of blackmail material, or more. Olaf can lead them to if he could just remember.

                      The PCs might even have the insane idea of trying to get Olaf some help. The Tremere or Hecata might have a ritual to help heal his injuries. Some Malkavians (not Son) or sufficiently powerful Elders (Critias or Helena probably) could also clear Olaf's mind. If he could be restored to the Lodin he was then he might owe the PCs a Life Boon. He also might be like Kevin Jackson and betray them because no one can see the King bleed. Either way, a restored Lodin would be the best weapon against Jackson--even if no one really wants him back on the throne.

                      Anyway, having something this hard and gritty as a start is a good sign for this book and very 5th Edition. Anyway, I'd say it was a solid opening but the motivation for it is weak.

                      Originally posted by Olaf's True Identity and Circumstance
                      I do note I wish we had some more hooks about how Olaf got to be the way he was.

                      Some suggestions on that are:

                      * He's not actually Lodin but an Obfuscated personality of Raymond Falcone/Evan Klein. In fact, Lodin's personality is starting to take dominance over the others because it's so forceful.
                      * He's just a severely deluded Nosferatu who was Blood Bound to the original Lodin. Possibly a former ghoul of his Embraced by Nathaniel Bordruff.
                      * He's actually Jan Pieterzsoon Dominated into thinking he's Lodin in order to hide the Ventrue princeling.
                      * Lodin was captured by the Sabbat and tortured for a decade before he escaped. His current state is the result of Vicissitude.
                      * Lodin THINKS he was captured by the Sabbat but was actually captured and tortured by Son.
                      * His current state is the result of a Werewolf curse for killing dozens of Kinfolk. There's literally a Bane bound to him that prevents him from spending any blood to heal himself.
                      Last edited by CTPhipps; 05-15-2020, 06:23 AM.


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

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Olaf would have done better in Shermer, Ill.

                        That Lodin has turned into an insane, vampire version of Fagin (of Oliver Twist) or the Sewer King is perfect. It makes me hope some PC got burned by him in the past, so they can enjoy the current status of the former prince.

                        I do agree the PCs will need a bigger reason (than presented) to give a damn about a prostitute who ran away, or rather to give a damn about the trouble this causes to some random pimp.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post
                          Olaf would have done better in Shermer, Ill.

                          That Lodin has turned into an insane, vampire version of Fagin (of Oliver Twist) or the Sewer King is perfect. It makes me hope some PC got burned by him in the past, so they can enjoy the current status of the former prince.

                          I do agree the PCs will need a bigger reason (than presented) to give a damn about a prostitute who ran away, or rather to give a damn about the trouble this causes to some random pimp.
                          Thanks for your commentary, GRR! I was initially kind of nonplussed by Olaf as I felt like he was such a different character from the original Lodin that I didn't know why they would bring him back in this condition. However, it kind of shows just how badly the Jyhad can leave a person.

                          Coldplay even has a song for it.



                          I do wish there had been more options to try to help Lodin because, well, it's a shame to have a longtime enemy in such a state--and among vampires, a long hated enemy is almost as good as a friend.


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

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The scenario where the party discovers Lodin works best if they had past experience with Lodin. His current status serves as a metaphor for his old court shorn of everyone’s delusions of grandeur. Namely, a bunch of monsters and criminals sitting is squalor and poisoning the lives of those they touch. This is the spiritual and moral truth of vampires. Lodin, morally and spiritually, has changed very little. That Olaf, formally a powerful prince and nominal master of the Camarilla’s crown jewel of North America, is now a derelict wearing a Burger King birthday crown in an abandoned building is a perfect and just irony. It is also an irony best appreciated by someone who knew him back in the day.

                            Say someone who knew him at his prime sees him now. Would they (A) gain insight into their own situation, (B) take pity on him, or (C) ship him off to Jackson will a price sticker on his forehead?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post
                              The scenario where the party discovers Lodin works best if they had past experience with Lodin. His current status serves as a metaphor for his old court shorn of everyone’s delusions of grandeur. Namely, a bunch of monsters and criminals sitting is squalor and poisoning the lives of those they touch. This is the spiritual and moral truth of vampires. Lodin, morally and spiritually, has changed very little. That Olaf, formally a powerful prince and nominal master of the Camarilla’s crown jewel of North America, is now a derelict wearing a Burger King birthday crown in an abandoned building is a perfect and just irony. It is also an irony best appreciated by someone who knew him back in the day.

                              Say someone who knew him at his prime sees him now. Would they (A) gain insight into their own situation, (B) take pity on him, or (C) ship him off to Jackson will a price sticker on his forehead?
                              Agreed,

                              Honestly, the adventure reminded me of an adventure in Fallout 3. There, Moriarty (the Olaf figure) wants you to kill one of his ex-employees and recover money he stole. However, Moriarty had vital information about your father's whereabouts. You can still resolve it by hacking his computer, turning his employees against him, and even just taking the money from the woman and letting her live.

                              Interestingly, if you want to make it a big adventure you could run this adventure parallel to redoing ASHES TO ASHES where the PCs are a bunch of hardened 40-year-old Neonates that are being treated like Ancilla and use the Memorium to go back to 1992 when they rescued Lodin.

                              Now they see Lodin in his reduced pathetic state that's similar to his ghoul. Lodin might also remember them as the people who saved his life way back when.


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

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X