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Vampire: The Masquerade: Winter's Teeth discussion thread

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  • Vampire: The Masquerade: Winter's Teeth discussion thread



    So,

    Anyone reading this comic by Tim Seeley? Two issues are out and it's apparently just a four issue series but I'm hoping they'll make this a series because this is a very solid bit of V:TM storytelling and among the best things we've gotten for showing the game world off since Bloodlines.

    Issue 1#
    Issue 2#

    The setting is the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul that have the inverse problem as Berlin used to with the two cities having one Prince despite the fact its Kindred community is divided into two places. Prince Samantha's primary enforcer is a Brujah named Cecily Baine and she is an 80s style punk and former Anarch who has sold out like Damien.

    Cecily is, in simple terms, pretty goddamn evil. That doesn't make her an uninteresting character, though, and it's clear that she thinks she's become "smart" by giving up her Humanity and being a cynical sadist. We also get some humanizing moments like the fact her kid sister is suffering from Alhezimers and that she adopts a fledgling she finds--despite the fact said kid may actually be a Baali (my guess).

    What's cool about this book is that it's not just Camarilla propaganda and while the first half of the book is about Cecily's adventures, the second half deals with a Thin Blooded Anarch named Colleen Pendergrass (the most newb V:TM player character name of all time, save maybe "Grimdark Shado"). She's a Daywalker and helps her pack of ingrates and losers forage for food on the outskirts.

    I'm really enjoying this series and Tim Seeley is smart enough to insert lots of roleplaying game information on the two cities in the back of the book. It gives us write-ups for Cecily and Colleen in the format of CBN's new character sheets as well as a rough breakdown of the city's political situation.
    Last edited by CTPhipps; 09-18-2020, 07:58 AM.


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

  • #2
    Got both issues. Even the variant covers... And her last name is Pendergrass.
    Last edited by Gangrel44; 09-18-2020, 07:21 AM.

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    • #3
      I liked the central story of issue 2# where Cecily is trying to teach her "childe" a lesson by leading her to a degenerate drug dealer, not helping her hold back from killing her, and then driving to the degenerate drug dealer's mother's house. She's trying to impart a lesson about killing people not being righteous but there's no reason that her childe would think it was in the first place until it happened.

      I feel like Cecily has lost her way and is in dire need of someone to call out her bullshit. "Oh, because he loved his mother he didn't deserve to die? God, please, how pathetic. You think Nazis didn't love their mothers? Or does making monsters less monstrous make you think its more normal when you kill innocents?"

      Mind you, she'd then kill my Anarch character.

      Or try to.


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

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      • #4
        Yes...someone definitely needs to call her out on her BS...

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        • #5
          But I admit I kind of love the plotline that started this storyline off:

          Cecily murders the human girlfriend of a local Kindred in order to enforce the Masquerade, making it clear that the girl never would have told anyone and that it was completely pointless.

          Result: Said Kindred immediately becomes an Anarch and start plotting her horrific demise.

          She is a TERRIBLE sheriff.


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

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          • #6
            Hahaha a story about police brutality in Minneapolis, related know.

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            • #7
              I've not read it, so this is a question; was the expressly ordered to kill the human?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post
                I've not read it, so this is a question; was the expressly ordered to kill the human?
                To get into the specifics of it, Celia Baine is a "hound without being called a hound" or what they call "dirty boots" in the Twin Cities. Celia rejects any formal title in the city but accepts missions from the Prince to beat up, destroy, intimidate, and otherwise behave as a Hound would. She thinks she's protecting her freedom but she's fooling herself since she's a Hound in all but name (and even that's incredulous as "dirty boots" are what Hounds are called in the city).

                Celia is dispatched to investigate a Masquerade violation by a Ventrue vampire named Cordell at his haven. Cordell is basically Prince Merrain's accountant and runs all her money laundering and other vital services. Celia proceeds to kidnap his human girlfriend and searches her mind to see what she knows and if she's told anyone. Afterward, Celia kills her. Cordell says that she didn't need to kill her and Celia says that it's on Cordell for telling her he was a vampire. Celia also admits that, no, from reading her blood that she never would have told anyone. That she genuinely loved Cordell.

                Celia is sadistic and hateful to Cordell because she hates Ventrue like him as a Brujah and betrayed her Anarch roots for survival. So she's a massive hypocrite but thinks of herself as wise.

                Celia thinks this is a "lesson" but misses the fact that all it's done is make Cordell her mortal enemy that doesn't CARE about his unlife if it means destroying her. She can't imagine caring about anyone more than their own life anymore. Cordell in Issue 2# starts handing the Anarchs and other enemies of the Prince every bit of information he has on the condition they kill her.

                It feels like Tim Seeley gets V:TM *VERY* well.


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

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                • #9
                  So the Prince ordered her to look into a situation, and Celia's response was murdering and making blood enemies?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post
                    So the Prince ordered her to look into a situation, and Celia's response was murdering and making blood enemies?
                    Yep. The implications are that she could have just ordered him to Blood Bond her, mind-zap her, or just left it alone.

                    Celia also does something equally evil in the 2nd issue.


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

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                    • #11
                      Read the first issue. Liked it a lot. VtM obviously has a ton of lore and it would be easy to drown first-time readers with exposition. Right off the bat, the series shows us what the Masquerade is about: you tell your girlfriend you're a vampire, she dies at the hands of the prince's jack-booted thug (who wears sunglasses at night). Really great way to immediately hit some of the game's most important themes.

                      I like how it shows the vampires crying blood.

                      I wonder if Corell really needed to be a vampire when he's just a glorified accountant, though. There's a lot of instances of characters being vampires who make better sense as ghouls (Bobby Weatherbottom). Granted, I suppose you couldn't have him going Anarch if that's what happens in the second issue.

                      Calder scene was a little exposition-heavy. Presumably Celia didn't need the recap on all that.

                      Don't think it makes sense for Calder to float harpy as a possible title for Celia to fill. She's clearly a sheriff/hound from her actions thus far. We haven't seen her schmoozing around in Elysium.

                      Guessing his clan is Tremere from the little show he does with the blood.

                      The Touchstone scene hit another important thematic note. Pretty sad to see Karen get dressed up as a punk with nowhere to party.

                      Thin-bloods break a ton of Masquerade's "normal" rules but that would be tricky to explain to new readers, since they still drink blood and are fundamentally vampires. Having Colleen walk around during the day when her husband crisped was a good way of showing thin-bloods aren't your regular flavor of vampire.

                      Her Baby Fangs Flaw is cute. I didn't initially pick up that's why she couldn't pierce the blood bag, though. Might have worked better just to give her no fangs, or obviously defective ones. I had a thin-blood show up in my current game with mismatching fangs: one at her top canine tooth, one at her lower incisor tooth, and the canine fang split into two tinier ones. The Ventrue PC who discovered her was appropriately repulsed. Baby Fangs is probably my favorite thin-blood Flaws, because it's such a great way of showing what pathetic creatures the Duskborn are. They're vampires who can't even drink blood properly.

                      Speaking of, these vampires are all horribly messy eaters.

                      Loved, loved, loved how we got stats for both characters. You just know nerds in threads like this would be guessing their stats, so the writers went ahead and saved us the trouble. Squee.

                      I like how their traits are pretty modest. Only see a couple 4s and no 5s. Dunno if Colleen warrants a Stealth 4, but maybe that comes up in the next issue.

                      Wits 2/Manipulation 2 feels appropriate for Celia. You can argue killing the girlfriend was smart, because if Corell broke the Masquerade once he might break it again, and a lecture just won't sink in like a corpse will. But telling the guy "oh hey, she wouldn't have blabbed" turns the narrative around from "you're a fuckup who caused this to happen" into "Celia is the bad guy, better go Anarch." When close to this exact thing happened in my game (PC blabbed to her best friend), one of the prince's agents forced the PC to take said best pal as a ghoul. She wound up blaming herself rather than the prince for everything that subsequently went wrong.
                      Last edited by False Epiphany; 09-19-2020, 01:25 AM.


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

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                      • #12
                        Excellent summary, False Epiphany.

                        And yes, Celia really mishandled it but part of it is I think the fact that she's a 90s Goth Punk that has turned to a Brujah sellout is also there. She resents being a sellout and it's resulting in her lashing out at all of the people around her because the only "friends" she has are Camarilla pigs she hates. Mind you, this isn't interpretation so much as what is flat out stated in her character sheet at the end, which was a great idea from the developers.

                        I wonder what Ali is.

                        Vampire hunter? Baali? Manchurian candidate?


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

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                        • #13
                          She cried blood. My guess would be Manchurian candidate for... the Second Inquisition might already be after Colleen, so they're represented, Corell already covers the Anarchs, so my big guess would be a rival faction in the prince's court to play up the intrigue between Camarilla.

                          I could also see Second Inquisition, if they want to particularly emphasize what a threat those guys are. It's a no-brainer if the SI isn't who's after Colleen.

                          I could also see the Sabbat. Sleeper agents and terror tactics are their MO now.

                          In hindsight, I think I'd have liked to see one of Colleen's coterie be a Caitiff. That'd further emphasize what a band of weak-blooded outcasts they all are. Her husband-sire is presumably a Gangrel, because I can't see the writers introducing a "turns into wolf" vampire who isn't from the "turns into wolves" clan.

                          Looks like her name is Cecily, not Celia. Mixed that up with the PC in my game who's named the latter. Amusing fact, my RL name is also Calder. This comic poached a lot of "my" names.


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

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                          • #14
                            New issue up!



                            Quite a few interesting developments!


                            * We find the hunters in Saint Lois are ghouls that are harvesting vampire organs and putting them in themselves with hedge magic. I think this was an X-men plot.

                            * Calder dies, sadly, without avenging his girlfriend.

                            * Cecily turns to Tremere blood magic to find out what's up with her "childe."

                            * The Prince is killed. Which utterly screws the Camarilla.

                            * King Rat is revealed to be a black Vietnam veteran who helps take down the Second Inquisition hunters.
                            Last edited by CTPhipps; 10-14-2020, 01:42 AM.


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

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                            • #15
                              Just got my print copy...
                              Last edited by Gangrel44; 10-17-2020, 12:22 AM.

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