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  • DA:V20 Gehenna Chronicle of Ages

    As the title indicates, I'm working on ideas for a epic chronicle that will ultimately culminate in Gehenna, if it goes that long. The thing I love most about tabletop RPGs is the freedom to make decisions and develop characters as you like, and I hate overly-linear railroad narratives. But the last game seemed to never get started because the players never really had an idea of what they wanted to do, and I was too committed to "do whatever you want!" to realize that I needed to narrow the options and give them more direction. So while I still want to run a game that will give them the freedom to choose their own course as they wish, I'm planning on using The Transylvania Chronicles and The Giovanni Chronicles to help construct an Antediluvian/Gehenna Myth Arc that I can regularly provide hooks for without necessarily forcing the players to follow the course set down in the texts.

    I've read through the overview of The Transylvania Chronicles on Chimerical Realm a couple of times, and I agree with a lot of what has been said there; while I plan to use it as a guideline, I have little interest in trying to run the Chronicles as presented, instead using them as a guideline. But the overview provided by Chimerical Realm doesn't always help with this; I think the best example is the post for Act IX, where it's noted that information about the metaplot (the tablets, Zelios) is the reason why this random visit to Revolutionary France has anything to do with the story, but never bothers to outline what this information is so one can just pluck it out and build a story set closer to home in Eastern Europe.

    So, my first question: assuming that one wanted to focus entirely on the Antediluvians and Kupala, how many of the Acts from TC do you think can be cut, either entirely or with only a few key metaplot elements lifted out and included elsewhere? I would like to try and keep the Political History and Mythology aspects of the TC more separate in this run, let the players choose how much they want to engage with either rather than forcefully interweave them; I'm more likely to treat Thorns and Paris as optional, for example. Similarly, I want as much of the Dracula arc to be optional as possible; if they like him, cool, but I don't want to force them to keep being his backup dancers.

    Secondly, beyond The Transylvania Chronicles, The Giovanni Chronicles, and Time of Judgment: Gehenna, I was wondering if anyone had recommendations for sourcebooks to read for inspiration when it comes to the Antediluvians and Gehenna? (For example, the wiki mentions Haqim meeting Fatima without providing a source, though my bet would be a DA novel)

    Thirdly, I'm currently working on a bit of a house-ruled system for handling the extensive periods of "downtime" more organically. Rather than simply saying "a hundred years passed, here's what happened, and here's some XP," I'm looking at making a "Long Turn" system inspired by the rules for larger battles provided in DA:V20's Tome of Secrets, and also on the "Downtime" house-rules posted here on Chimerical Realm. I'm similarly tinkering around with some rules for covering Resource expenditures and the like. I'm interested in hearing any similar ideas that other Storytellers might like to share, or experiences that players have had with them.

    Finally, on the topic of downtime, an 800-year chronicle is going to have a lot of it. While a "Long Turn" system might help smooth that over somewhat, there are periods in the TC timeline that span around a hundred years between major events. I definitely plan on including additional stories in between the metaplot-heavy chapters, in particular so the players don't get to assume that any given plot hook or story element is critical to some grand narrative. The first 'Arc' that I have planned will start as a derailed version of TC1, getting the players settled in Transylvania. There would then be a interim period of downtime where they establish themselves, before having to deal with the fallout of the conflict of UtBC3, whether as agents of one side or locals caught in the middle. The 'Arc' would effectively conclude with their response to the Mongol invasion of 1241. I've got ideas for side-plots to keep the group occupied up to 1241, but I don't have many thoughts on what to do until TC2 canonically starts in 1314. A lot of that will depend on the shape the coterie takes by that point, but I was hoping to hear any interesting ideas that people might have for sub-plots in late-13th century Transylvania?

  • #2
    Well the pre-V20 stuff still had the idea that alot of these events were cyclical (and even back in the previous editions of Vampire you had the idea that Gehenna was cyclical. 2300 years or so I believe?) So if you wanted something less rushed or final than the original run to Gehenna starting with the Week of Nightmares you might approach it from that cyclical perspctive and treat everything from V20 onwards as being part of that cycle and 'Gehenna' is still going on. Heck its not as if the Book of Nod didn't suggest things would last alot longer than they did prior to the Time of Judgement stuff.

    And the Trannsylvanian and Giovanni chronicles were events that involved the coterie as significant factors in 'Historical' VtM Events (if not agents of fate, then as not-insignificant movers and shakers behind the scenes.) With a vaguely defined 'Gehenna' endpoint then the story arcs will be driven by what these characters do or not do in relation to Gehenna. Do they want to bring it about sooner? Do they want to try and avert it or delay/mitigate the severity? Do they just to survive? You might have your players hunting for information and collecting resources. Building networks and establishing alliances. Laying plans that take centuries to reach fruition. All the while hidden under the guise of 'normality' that masks such maneuvers in what is essentially a 'Shadow War.' You could make ties to other books like The Red Sign (A Mage/Vampire alliance to allow a human to be 'cured' of Vampirism. Which could be utilized to a given endpoint in many ways.)

    There's also stuff like 'Lair of the Hidden' (a potential for making significant alliances and crossovers with 'big players' like Saulot. Like Trannsylvanian Chronicles it also involves an 'earthbound' demon - not Kupala - so there's some crossover there too.) Although IIRC that might be several centuries later than TC2.

    Overall though that suggests down time should probably play into the larger arc (or multiple arcs) leading towards Gehenna. Investigation, recovery of stuff that may be of importance or use per Gehenna, or discovering/interacting with other factions.

    TC2 involves the Anarch Revolt, the rise of Dracula and the events around that. Does the coterie see the writing on the wall and have a hand in events to come? Or do they simply want to ride it out? Either way there's ample room to build 'down time' by preparations of some kind leading into TC2. Maybe they're uncovering the threads of things that lead into the Anarch Revolt, or following up prophecies surrounding Dracula. Maybe they're just getting interested in things like Kupala and they start hunting other Earthbound (That can lead to Lair of the Hidden later on as further 'down game' plots.) Have them start discovering hints of what is to come, and then give them a chance to start making preparations for the big events to come (and which may have knock-on effects down the line and lead to further story ideas.)

    Another possibility with 'down time' is that the main coterie itself may be hidden or otherwise inactive and you might have the players assuming the identity of servants or minions carrying out tasks to help prepare for that (which you could mingle with brief scenes where the main coterie is still hunting down/researching to discover the truth in their 'down time.') What happens to such 'secondary' characters would be up to you, but part of the prep can include developing useful/powerful 'agents' that may be a 'reward' of such sidequests, for example.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Mister_Dunpeal View Post
      Well the pre-V20 stuff still had the idea that alot of these events were cyclical (and even back in the previous editions of Vampire you had the idea that Gehenna was cyclical. 2300 years or so I believe?) So if you wanted something less rushed or final than the original run to Gehenna starting with the Week of Nightmares you might approach it from that cyclical perspctive and treat everything from V20 onwards as being part of that cycle and 'Gehenna' is still going on. Heck its not as if the Book of Nod didn't suggest things would last alot longer than they did prior to the Time of Judgement stuff.

      And the Trannsylvanian and Giovanni chronicles were events that involved the coterie as significant factors in 'Historical' VtM Events (if not agents of fate, then as not-insignificant movers and shakers behind the scenes.) With a vaguely defined 'Gehenna' endpoint then the story arcs will be driven by what these characters do or not do in relation to Gehenna. Do they want to bring it about sooner? Do they want to try and avert it or delay/mitigate the severity? Do they just to survive? You might have your players hunting for information and collecting resources. Building networks and establishing alliances. Laying plans that take centuries to reach fruition. All the while hidden under the guise of 'normality' that masks such maneuvers in what is essentially a 'Shadow War.' You could make ties to other books like The Red Sign (A Mage/Vampire alliance to allow a human to be 'cured' of Vampirism. Which could be utilized to a given endpoint in many ways.)

      There's also stuff like 'Lair of the Hidden' (a potential for making significant alliances and crossovers with 'big players' like Saulot. Like Trannsylvanian Chronicles it also involves an 'earthbound' demon - not Kupala - so there's some crossover there too.) Although IIRC that might be several centuries later than TC2.

      Overall though that suggests down time should probably play into the larger arc (or multiple arcs) leading towards Gehenna. Investigation, recovery of stuff that may be of importance or use per Gehenna, or discovering/interacting with other factions.

      TC2 involves the Anarch Revolt, the rise of Dracula and the events around that. Does the coterie see the writing on the wall and have a hand in events to come? Or do they simply want to ride it out? Either way there's ample room to build 'down time' by preparations of some kind leading into TC2. Maybe they're uncovering the threads of things that lead into the Anarch Revolt, or following up prophecies surrounding Dracula. Maybe they're just getting interested in things like Kupala and they start hunting other Earthbound (That can lead to Lair of the Hidden later on as further 'down game' plots.) Have them start discovering hints of what is to come, and then give them a chance to start making preparations for the big events to come (and which may have knock-on effects down the line and lead to further story ideas.)

      Another possibility with 'down time' is that the main coterie itself may be hidden or otherwise inactive and you might have the players assuming the identity of servants or minions carrying out tasks to help prepare for that (which you could mingle with brief scenes where the main coterie is still hunting down/researching to discover the truth in their 'down time.') What happens to such 'secondary' characters would be up to you, but part of the prep can include developing useful/powerful 'agents' that may be a 'reward' of such sidequests, for example.

      Apologies, I realize I was using TC# in a non-conventional way, the # being the Act, not the book.

      A cyclical Gehenna is something I'm considering, but that decision isn't a high priority since my story will be starting about 800 years before the Week of Nightmares. While I have Gehenna in mind as a theoretical ending, the reality is that my group might not hold together past Act 1 of TC, so while I want a broad idea of the direction I'm going in, I'm fine with a lot of the details around Gehenna not being set in stone yet.

      Broadly speaking, the idea of uncovering the mysteries of the Antediluvians, and deciding how they want to participate in centuries of shadowy vampire politics with a growing understanding of what is to come, is the central theme of this chronicle, yeah. Plenty of their adventures will be opportunities to advance the Gehenna plotline, uncover the secrets of Kupala, etc., but I think it would be more authentic to have unrelated events, like the Mongol invasion in 1241, that have little to nothing to do with the Grand Schemes of the Antediluvians. That's more what I'd like inspiration for at the moment

      I'll take a look at The Red Sign, I like crossover in my WoD, good suggestion; I'll maybe also look at Blood Treachery for historical background, since getting involved in the Tremere's wars with the Tzimisce and the Order of Hermes are possible storylines. The Lair of the Hidden is an excellent recommendation, because I hadn't considered using it as a source generally even though I'm planning on using an idea I encountered here on the forums (I think?) that relies on some of its content

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      • #4
        So I have a question about the Mentor Background. I've spent more time with the modern Vampire setting, and the "typical" game is largely based around one city and the surroundings, the area within reach with a night's travel or so. If your Sire or other Mentor figure isn't in the city, or doesn't have some kind of established method of communicating over long distances with you, it probably isn't going to be listed as a Background. (I'm considering nomadic games as more of a 'niche' thing, not ignoring their existence)

        My question is, considering potential Sires and Mentor NPCs, how close should they be to the 'action' before qualifying as a Background that needs points spent on them? If the players are in the Transylvania, should their Mentor be within a neighbouring kingdom at least, or closer? Further away might still work for Cainites with magical means of communicating, but how much time might a character be expected to spend on horseback traveling to see their Mentor before it shouldn't qualify as a routine Background anymore?

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        • #5
          I always wanted to start a game in the Wolfs of the Sea era and have it play out till the Week of Nightmares, and then Present Day is Gehenna. But then it would continue into a Post Apocalyptic Future where Mankind populates the spaceways.


          It is a time for great deeds!

          Comment


          • #6
            That sounds pretty wild, especially fun given all the analogies I've seen drawn between Crucible of God and the Age of Strife in WH40K. How much of the fancy future-tech rules for that sort of stuff exists already, and how much would you need to figure out? I know the Technocracy and Etherites have rules, but I dunno how well that stuff can be uncoupled from all the Mage mechanics.

            I am thinking my own Gehenna scenario might be a combination of Nightshade and Crucible, maybe even adopting bits and pieces of Fair is Foul, but I haven't really decided yet. I'm also a crossover-addict, so while it will focus on the Vampire perspective, my Gehenna is probably going to include the End Times scenarios of other game lines as well, so I'm taking that into consideration.

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            • #7
              Thoughts about the Antediluvians

              First of three big posts that will likely be updated over time, as concepts change or expand. An important part of any Gehenna chronicle will, of course, be the Antediluvians; their fates, their agendas, their alliances and rivalries. Below will be a list of the various Antediluvians that I've considered so far, including all of the clan founders. A lot of this isn't especially original, based on existing materials or ideas I've encountered online, but having it out where people can see it allows them to provide feedback

              Absimilliard: since it features as background in the finale of The Transylvania Chronicles IV, I'm keeping the concepts that a) he killed Zillah, and helped incite the rebellion against the 2nd Gen, over a single scar, and b) he and the Toreador Ante were lovers before he was cursed. Notably, I'm rejecting the idea that all of the clan curses came from Caine, but Absimilliard's did specifically; moreover, he was the only one actually cursed, but the jerkass inflicts it on the rest of his descendants by choice. He doesn't sick the Nictuku to hunt his descendants in hopes of a cure, but just out of petty viciousness. Gehenna said something about him being in Antarctica for WtA crossover IIRC, I need to investigate that.

              Haqim: "loose"; I haven't really decided what I want to do with Haqim or Ur-Shulgi yet, though reading on the forums has provided plenty of excellent possibilities. Might have a better idea after reviewing that chapter of BJD again.

              Troile / Ilyes: Troile is under Carthage with Moloch; it seems "documented" well enough, and I like it. The question is whether they diablerized Ilyes successfully, or if he managed to escape with Temporis as depicted in Fair is Foul and Troile consumed a different (potentially unnamed) Third Generation (or never actually achieved Third Generation, perhaps).

              Set: Another one I haven't really decided on. I'm less familiar with his roles in the Gehenna scenarios (aside from the "already dead, mass suicide time!" of Crucible of God), as his clan was one I never really appreciated until recently. He might be dead, he might be "dead," and he might be "loose."

              Ennoia: "loose"; I haven't decided if I want to go with the "Earth-melding with the Core" depiction yet, but the ideas of her as a wandering "mysterious stranger" of the wilderness or an ominous presence detected by sensitive Earth-Melded vampires are both fun for sure.

              Augustus/Cappadocius: BJD seems to depict Cappadocius' Spectre as something that still exists (so either there was no Sixth Great Maelstrom in BJD, or Capp's Spectre was capable of surviving it, contrary to previous writings). Needs fleshing out, but that's a plot all by itself.

              Lasombra: Beyond the attempted diablerie during the Anarch Revolt causing it to become an Abyssal entity, or causing one to come into existence as it died, haven't given this too much thought. Although my fondness for crossover has made me consider Lasombra having Nephandi allies/minions.

              Malkav: I like the "Malkav became the Madness Network" idea, but the underlying 'how'/'why' needs some elaboration.

              Toreador: "loose"; Arikel/Ishtar is potentially one of the most powerful backers of the Camarilla/Masquerade

              Ventrue: either one of the few truly dead Antediluvians, or the Masquerade/hide-and-seek world champ for over 5000 years, possibly the Toreador Ante's ally in backing the Camarilla. Convincing it's own stuck-up clan that it died might have just been a ploy to turn them against the Brujah while it wasn't around to actively promote conflict; if so, why? If it's dead, but Ilyes isn't, it might have been the 3rd Gen diablerized by Troile.

              Zapathasura: I am absolutely willing to out myself as a cheesy little 90s edgelord when I say that I really enjoyed "The Week of Nightmares" as an over-the-top apocalyptic crossover event. Ham-fisted as an approach to dealing with a clan with controversial history, however, and my preference is to try and split the difference by having the devastation of the clan resulting from Zapathasura's (supposed) demise occur, but with enough survivors for the clan to continue as depicted in BJD (though the elder Ravnos depicted there, along with Durga Syn, may be the only surviving Methuselahs of the clan). As for Zapathasura itself, I find myself torn between my enjoyment of tWoN leading me to want to respect its "canon" declaration of the Antediluvian's demise, and my sympathy to the argument that if ANYTHING could survive that and fake it's death then it would be a master of both Fortitude and Chimerstry.

              Tzimisce: Going with the depiction in BJD, I like the Eldest being treated a bit less like "The Thing." But it's still a monster; the Asakku from TBH are basically rejects in the Eldest's eyes who are turned into minions and Vicissitude lab-rats. The members of the Old Clan who reject Vicissitude aren't doing themselves any favours, however; the Eldest's power is over its flesh and blood, not Vicissitude itself, and the Old Clan can't avoid "contamination" by not partaking in Tzimisce blood like those who would learn Vicissitude out-of-clan might.

              Saulot / Tremere: For a chronicle of ages that is basing itself, at least, on The Transylvania Chronicles, the question of "what is up with Saulot and Tremere?" is a really big one, unless you simply accept everything as-written in TC. Which I don't. In part because, if it's not obvious yet it will be soon, I am a major fan of Beckett's Jyhad Diary, and much of my desire to "adapt" TC comes from a desire to harmonize it with BJD, where we are given both the evil Saulot of TC and the good Saulot of Lair of the Hidden. My solution is based heavily on other people's idea, and while I've shifted ideas somewhat, I'd like to give credit to the commentator who pointed me to the Platonic Split ritual in Lair of the Hidden; I don't think it was even on here, on Reddit maybe. But my ideas for Saulot have evolved from there ever since.

              Saulot traveled East. And Saulot achieved Golconda; it is not a lie, but a genuine path of potential redemption for Cainites. However, Golconda is not truly the end; beyond Golconda is the ability to shed the Curse of Caine and become human again. The legendary blessings bestowed on a vampire that achieves Golconda (freedom from the Beast, limited need to feed, the ability to develop Disciplines beyond Generation caps) are a distraction. "All of the strengths, (almost) none of the weaknesses" sounds pretty tempting right? But (from this perspective, at least) that is a trap of hubris; even with all the advantages of Golconda, continuing to be a vampire means continuing to be a vampire, and choosing to remain involved in the Jyhad believing you can do more good than harm with these new powers, rather than continue to focus on getting out, is failing the final test.

              And Saulot failed that test. Like Rebekah, Saulot slipped out of Golconda; maybe it took him a millennium, but he lost it. And the problem is, the epiphany that makes Golconda possible is incredibly rare; having a further epiphany after already being "enlightened" is exponentially more difficult. So, failing to get Golconda back, Saulot resorted to a lesser alternative, a combination Discipline that allowed him to split himself into a vampire containing his Beast/P'o and what is essentially a reincarnating super-powered Revenant containing his Hun. While pre-split Saulot made preparations to try and contain his "evil twin" (killing it simply caused The Curse to return to him in full, while he obviously never experimented with letting IT kill HIM), either an error of judgment or a subconscious manipulation by his Beast allowed his P'o to escape. Cue millennia of conflict, with P'o-lot being the sire of the three Baali Methuselahs (though there may be more; I greatly enjoy the idea of the Well itself being the source, not a particular Antediluvian), and Hun-lot being the good Saulot known to most Cainites (deceiving them into thinking he was still a vampire, generally).

              Putting P'o-lot into torpor might have finally been victory for Hun-lot, except either by design or VERY bad fortune, Tremere found P'o-lot when he went looking for Antediluvians to snack upon. At this point, I haven't decided if I want to stick with the conventional TC depiction from that point, or employ the excellent idea of CTPhipps where Tremere and P'o-lot merge into a gestalt being rather than one simply pushing the other out. Whatever the case, the amalgamation of Tremere and P'o-lot likely has Hun-lot outmatched at this point in raw power.


              The Second Generation

              In trying to figure out my background information for this chronicle, one thing I tried to put together, of course, was a family tree for the Antediluvians. The big gap in that family tree is, of course, the Second Generation; while some others might be hiding out there, the existence of the thirteen Clan Founders is pretty well-documented, whereas the identities of the sires of the Thirteen are generally little more than presumptions and in-character theories. The best documentation I've found seems to come from http://vampirerpg.free.fr/Genealogy/antediluvians.html , which seems to inspire much of what is written in the wiki (one exception being a partial stat sheet for Absimilliard which lists Zillah as his sire).

              While there are definitely some strong points to the theory, it comes with some weaknesses as well. Pretty much every Discipline used to pick out someone as a childer of a particular 2nd Gen (Auspex, Obfuscate, Animalism) can be found among the childer of another. Which gets especially bad when Irad's childer are defined by a whole mish-mash (unless someone can provide a source backing it, I cannot comprehend why just having Fortitude got Capp lumped here).

              And so, I wrote my own version of the lineage from the Second Generation, which is of course just a draft at this point: (I may add some notes on my reasoning later, but I've already been writing this post for an hour+)

              Enoch:

              > Arikel
              > Cappadocius
              > Saulot

              Zillah:

              > Absimilliard
              > Malkav

              Irad:

              > Ilyes
              > Lasombra
              > Ventrue

              Dracian:

              > Ennoia
              > Haqim
              > Set
              > Tzimisce
              > Zapathasura


              Caine

              Taking the time recently to look at The Book of Nod and The Erciyes Fragments really drove home a point that I felt I understood before, but never properly internalized. Even if you don't take those documents as fact, it seems like you would need them to be completely false if you don't want Caine to be a colossal jerkass.

              Maybe it's a fondness for the "taxi driver" depiction in Bloodlines or the relatively benign "Kapaneus" of the Gehenna novel, but it seems like a lot of people on the forum, when asked how they would depict Caine, do so in a relatively sympathetic light. He's mostly just keeping to himself, not bothering anyone, if he isn't actively trying to help his descendants.

              My current concept for Caine imagines him mostly washing his hands of his progeny after the slaughter of the Second Generation. Specifically, the murder of Zillah. I don't imagine Caine "loving" Zillah in any way we would consider the term, since he was seemingly happy to enslave her affections through the blood-bond, but I imagine him being very possessive of her, kind of like a Helen of Troy. And so the combination of (in his eyes) bringing on the Deluge and killing "his precious" put him mostly into the "fuck the lot of you" camp.

              For the most part, I imagine Caine as having set up his own private little "paradise" where he gets to play blood-god like he always wanted. Not making the mistake of creating childer any more, he has a cult of followers/worshipers with a handful of blood-bound ghouls (ghouls potentially possessing power rivaling an Antediluvian). Every once in a while he might try and intervene in the affairs of his descendants "for their own good," but does so with the beliefs and attitudes of a Biblical patriarch who is, again, a colossal jerkass. The greatest extent of his involvement in the Jyhad might just be punking Absimilliard out of spite; you wonder how an Antediluvian fails to kill off his descendants over thousands of years, maybe because Caine (or his ghouls) hunts the Nictuku the way they hunt lesser vampires, because Caine HOLDS A GRUDGE.

              Forgot to include this before: was Caine the First Murderer?

              My answer? Eh. Depends on semantics; how do you define 'murder'? I don't imagine Caine as the first human to kill another human. He is (one of) the first human(s) to kill another human with premeditation and without a cause related to pragmatism or survival. He is also (one of) the first kin-slayer(s). But the real reason that he was cursed is this: he was the first person to murder in the Name of God (fitting the depiction of Abel as a "sacrifice"). In my head-canon, Caine was cursed because he killed one of God's favourite pets and then gave God a pair of finger-guns and said "you're welcome." Fuck that guy indeed.


              Lilith

              Explaining my take on Lilith requires expanding a bit more on my interpretation of the Biblical mythos in VtM in order to make sense. Without necessarily going into the "layers of reality" discussed in DtF, for the purposes of "actual history" in my cWoD universe, humanity did not begin with a spontaneous creation of Adam and Eve, etc., by God. Adam and Eve were among a handful of people chosen for Divine Revelation (vaguely akin to what happens in the DtF backstory). To the extent that they were exceptional, it was the result of Heavenly patronage.

              Lilith was different. She was (among) the first human(s) to ever Awaken (as a Mage, or a proto-Mage/Wyck), and did so entirely on her own, without the assistance or guidance of some "higher" power. I haven't decided on most of the details of her "backstory" or relationship with Caine yet, which will likely play a role in my Gehenna event, depending on the interpretation I decide to go with.
              Last edited by Kharnov; 06-25-2020, 03:44 PM.

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              • #8
                coming soon... Thoughts on Gehenna... placeholder for now

                Comment


                • #9
                  Beckett's Jyhad Diary Notes

                  As noted above, I am a big fan of Beckett's Jyhad Diary, and having enjoyed the excellent review offered by CTPhipps, with additional comments from Grumpy RPG Reviews, I recently started a re-read of my own. While not trying to provide as broad an overview as they did, I am taking notes of potential Antediluvian/Gehenna plot points that come up, and figured I would include a copy here for reference Obviously more will be added as I get through more chapters.

                  Carna’s Rebellion
                  4: Book of the Grave-War (Das Buch vom Grabkrieg) as a Gehenna source
                  5-6: “The shadow-sleepers”?
                  14: Jacob(/Esau) claims to have witnessed 3 Gehenna events
                  15-16: reference to Kindred pre-Columbian Exchange
                  19: “Esau laughs that he placed the Book in the Marquette University to be found by Carna, but Jacob would never know, just as Esau will never know Jacob wrote it in the first place, under the supervision of a vampire more adept in manipulation and control than any other. ”
                  20: Cult of Isis = Bahari? “An unknown vampire sits in the shadows, commanding the Bahari Cult of Isis to first cleanse the Tremere Chantry, before turning their attentions on fueling the war between Camarilla and Sabbat. This vampire hears the whispering voices of forgotten vampires in Lake Michigan. She knows the letting of potent blood will cause them to wake. Another portent of Gehenna will come to pass, and her mistress will be happy indeed.”

                  A Split City
                  23: “When love and hate turn strange; And magpies filch the hours; And Judas limbs betray; Know you are a figment; A shadow-sleeper’s dream; Remember, remember; Dreams die when sleepers wake; Remember, remember for Kindred’s sake” An excerpt from my fragments of the Book of the Grave-War (translated by Dr. Mortius). Another reference to the shadow-sleepers. Frightful reading when you misplace your pen, only to find it in the pocket you checked a moment ago.
                  25-26: Malcolm can see the Methuselahs’ strings in Chicago, under the influence at least
                  29: Something under Volo Bog keeps the “Lupines” away; Xaviar feels it, and feels uncomfortable
                  29: Inyanga refers to multiple Gehennas: “The world is always ending. There is always another Gehenna coming. The question is which ones can be endured, escaped, or reshaped.” Beckett refers to “Poly-Gehenna Theory” as a feature of Laibon mythology
                  29-30: Beckett also learns more about Eye of Hazimel; relevant later

                  Shadows Coalesce
                  46: Vykos’ library as source of (cyclical?) Gehenna lore
                  51: Writings by Veddhartha on “upper limits of generational expansion.”
                  55-56: Shaal Fragment; “Book of the Grave-War” = “Book of Chaos in the Underworld” = means of surviving cyclical Gehennas? “The old forms shall wither on the vine, and declare the end times. Only the children of Enoch shall see the new age.”
                  57: “I see movements of the Jyhad, and evidence of Gehenna’s arrival is all over the news. Towers fall. Tanks roll into Sumer and Ur. One by one we’re called, Beckoned into the east by the Blood or the Sabbat’s crazy “Gehenna Crusade.” They become increasingly difficult to write off. Even his awakening, seemingly unquestioned by Vitel himself, bears echoes of rising Methuselahs the world over. He may wish to break the Jyhad, but what caused him to rise? Is Gehenna truly cyclical, as the Shaal Fragment states?
                  58: The Shaal Fragment (with notes from Beckett{?})

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Eldagusto View Post
                    I always wanted to start a game in the Wolfs of the Sea era and have it play out till the Week of Nightmares, and then Present Day is Gehenna. But then it would continue into a Post Apocalyptic Future where Mankind populates the spaceways.
                    I have to disagree. More likely the Antediluvians would kick humanity back into the early Bronze Age or a Fallout kind of world, at best.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Gurkhal View Post

                      I have to disagree. More likely the Antediluvians would kick humanity back into the early Bronze Age or a Fallout kind of world, at best.
                      I mean if an apocalypse kicks off the Humans who made it to space would probably be luckier then the ones at Ground Zero when Lilith and Caine are slugging it out and Haquim is Judging Saulot who is Judging the Eldest...


                      It is a time for great deeds!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Gurkhal View Post

                        I have to disagree. More likely the Antediluvians would kick humanity back into the early Bronze Age or a Fallout kind of world, at best.
                        More like Vampire Hunter D, but less super-tech, since VtM vampires are generally "up to date" at best when it comes to STEM fields.

                        It depends on your concept of 'Gehenna' though, really.

                        If you're going with a single End Times Gehenna, you're probably right that the event will either be so apocalyptic that it causes a massive regression or it will end in some kind of Biblical salvation that would render a "mankind explores the stars with technology" future redundant.

                        But if Gehenna is instead a cyclical event, you can potentially have the struggle to survive THIS Gehenna be the catalyst for a giant advance in technology (or techno-magic, if the Masquerade's been blown anyways) which allows the survivors to colonize the stars. Only to have the next Gehenna be a Vampire Space Opera.

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                        • #13
                          Hello everyone! I hope people don't mind me giving this topic a bit of a bump, but we are now three sessions into this game, and I wanted to share a summary of the events thus far. In part because some of it is rather hilarious, but there is also a question that I have which I would appreciate some input on.

                          To begin, our cast. We have a Tzimisce who is basically Dracula-before-Dracula, a Basarab Tzimisce warrior-noble; we have a Nosferatu "forest witch" who is inspired by Baba Yaga, but does not actually practice Blood Sorcery at this point; and we have a Malkavian investigator/bounty-hunter with Sanguinary Animism as his innate Derangement*. Their patron for their foray into Transylvania is Radu, the Prince of Bistritz.

                          * (btw, can someone confirm whether or not you have to kill the Vessel for them to 'haunt' you as a consequence of Sanguinary Animism, or if drinking from mortals at all causes the problem?)

                          Session 1

                          Our players met outside of Buda-Pest, and made their way to the Castle District with all haste; they completely ignored Sherazhina and Roland, goodbye sub-plot. They made their way to the Market District without incident, but things got a bit messy once the meeting got underway; the young Basarab had unfortunately not fed very well on their way to the meeting, and ended up killing one of the vessels provided, while the other two characters were actively uninterested in the offer of potential Princedoms as a reward for their services. After getting everyone pointed in the right direction, I decided to introduce Octavio as they left Buda-Pest instead of on their way to the meeting, but the combination of language difficulties and a recurring problem of one-track-mindedness meant that the first encounter basically amounted to them hearing him yell incoherently while they sat inside their wagons.

                          Our merry band reached Transylvania largely without incident until Klausenberg. Not being a fan of the painfully-railroaded aspects of the TCs, I made the burning of the wagons during their encounter with Mitru and his minions into more of a pass-fail event; the combination of my distraction and them doing reasonably well meant that only one of the three wagons was burning by the time Myca arrived (more because it was getting late than a need to save the party yet, it could've gone either way at that point).

                          Session 2

                          Having done a decent job of protecting their assets, the decision to travel with Myca ended up being pitched more as "mutual support" than a favour, though he still earned some brownie points paying for their wounded ghouls to get treated at the next village. Myca seemed to make a decent impression on the party, though a decent Auspex 2 roll revealed him as largely "indifferent" to the party beneath his friendly exterior. The Basarab member of the coterie spent a decent amount of time conversing with Myca, and later with Radu when they reached Bistritz. For the most part, the players made a decent impression on Radu, except when the Nos earned herself a silent mark of disapproval by overfeeding a bit on the vessels provided under rules of hospitality.

                          Session 3

                          Our coterie began their journey up into the Tihuta Pass. The signs of others already being present on the site, Anatole and Lucita, provoked immediate paranoia in the party. After sending the Malkavian to scout things out with Obfuscate, a good roll on Auspex allowed him to detect Lucita's hidden presence in addition to the vampiric nature of both. Going back, they discussed their options, and decided to go with having the Basarab ride up openly, while the Malk and the Nos followed with their Obfuscate and set themselves up to ambush Anatole and Lucita if anything went wrong, while leaving their ghouls behind to hide their numbers even further. The result was only the Basarab "being present" during the initial introduction of Anatole and Lucita, and discussing the situation with them while the other two hid nearby.

                          Despite Anatole's friendliness, a combination of selfish pragmatism, general paranoia, and particular distrust of Anatole's extreme religiosity, resulted in the players deciding to try and drive the two off without sharing the secret of the hidden library (something that our Basarab character knew about, conveniently ). Our pagan Nos forest-witch was extremely excited about trying to scare Anatole off with a bunch of "spooky witchcraft" stuff, except it never ended up coming to that. Suspicious Lucita got a couple lucky rolls, and managed to notice them creeping off to discuss their plan, and successfully listened in enough to go tell Anatole that their new "friends" were plotting trouble. While initially laughing internally at how badly things would go when their fake attempt at occult shenanigans ran into Anatole's True Faith, I ultimately decided that the two would favour avoiding confrontation, as the book suggests, and had them flee while the characters plotted.

                          The decision to chase off Anatole and Lucita then combined with the player's laser-focus on the "main quest," the construction of the tower in Tihuta Pass, to result in an absurd blend of comedy and tragedy; having discovered the Clay Tablets and the golden Translation Disk, not a single one of my players has expressed the slightest interest in trying to translate it themselves. They have focused exclusively on delivering the items to Radu as instructed, with the remainder of this session basically involving debate around whether or not the trip to Bistritz with them should be attempted sooner or later.


                          This hilarious outcome is what leads to the question I mentioned at the introduction of this post: do you think I should begin my next session with something like an Intelligence roll to give the characters a chance to "realize" the potential importance of translating and/or copying the Tablets? Lover of sandboxes and chaos that I am, I am 100% all right with having the players be ignorant of certain parts of the plot, and just have the plot continue evolving under their nose until they can't help but catch a whiff; it's going to be really funny when Octavio storms into their Haven a hundred or so years later yelling at them about how they ignored his warnings, and they probably won't have the slightest clue who he is xD But given that they are new players, I want to give them a chance to avoid being shut out of the beginnings of such a big plot reveal.

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                          • #14
                            Any thoughts on using Gutka and Baba Yaga at some point in your chronicle? They're right there in Eastern Europe instead of Paris or Thorns, Gutka in particular is a potentially cool character who was never really fleshed out and utilized in official products to her potential, and the raising of the Shadow Curtain as Baba Yaga awakens could be a good early warning that things are escalating if you want it to be.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Reasor View Post
                              Any thoughts on using Gutka and Baba Yaga at some point in your chronicle? They're right there in Eastern Europe instead of Paris or Thorns, Gutka in particular is a potentially cool character who was never really fleshed out and utilized in official products to her potential, and the raising of the Shadow Curtain as Baba Yaga awakens could be a good early warning that things are escalating if you want it to be.
                              I have indeed considered it, especially since my one player wanted to be a Baba Yaga-inspired Nossie even before she knew about the in-game connection. I've been trying to learn a bit more about Baba Yaga's motives in the event that the players get involved with her at some point.

                              As for Gutka, well, I'm not actively opposed if they put themselves in the right place, but I haven't uncovered much of a use for her in the lore, thus far, beyond "terrifying cannibal vampire." If she has much use for her childer beyond eating them, however, I'm inclined to possibly have her be the ancestor of the Nos in my coterie, since both are based out of Poland.

                              It's actually kind of funny, because she's not only the only illiterate member of the group, she speaks an entirely different language from the rest of the PCs and has to rely on a ghoul interpreter to understand much of anything.

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