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  • Oh that was me. It's a shame Rusted Veins isn't available any more.


    Matthew Dawkins
    In-House Developer for Onyx Path Publishing


    Website: https://www.matthewdawkins.com
    Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/matthewdawkins

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    • I enjoyed Rusted Veins very much, I have storytelled this chronicle twice. Well-written! Personally, I think that captures the mood and themes of 5th edition perfectly, and Modius deserved that end.
      Last edited by Justycar; 04-14-2021, 02:45 AM.

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      • Originally posted by The Gentleman Gamer View Post
        Oh that was me. It's a shame Rusted Veins isn't available any more.
        Kudos!

        It is a shame it's not available anymore. The Pregenerated characters are solid NPCs for use in a Gary Chronicle and it is a really good introduction to V5's themes. It's gritty and dark with a focus on relatively small amounts of cash as well as drugs (all stolen by the police) but all ties to the Second Inquisition, Circulatory System, and a magical quality of the blood.

        Modius is still the same character but he's at his most terrifying too. Scared enough to abandon the city he'd never willingly abandon.

        Edit:

        If they were smart, White Wolf would ask the author to put it up on their website and for free download on DriveThru. It'd be great advertising.
        Last edited by CTPhipps; 04-13-2021, 05:03 PM.


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

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        • Oooo, maybe Mila Jovavich for Allicia instead:





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

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          • Juggler



            Synopsis: The First Anarch. Too old to rock n' roll.

            Analysis: Mark Rein Hagen created both the Anarchs and Camarilla in 1991 with our first introduction ot them being Forged in Steel's Modius and Juggler. The funny thing about it is, as much as I love the Anarchs, MRH's intent was that essentially the Anarchs and Camarilla were two sides of the same coin. Same shit, different toilet if I were to quote Juggler himself. Basically, you can't trust causes in V:TM and they were moral equals.

            1st Edition Juggler was a manipulative poseur Anarch who played Butthole Surfers during Modius' parties as a form of "rebellion" but did very little to actually make any headway in either Gary or Chicago. Like Modius, Juggler also had an enslaved childer that he'd ripped from their old life and was using as part of his plots. Dust to Dust also showed that, even a decade later, Modius and Juggler had essentially identical plans for saving Gary. Juggler wanting to focus on the highway while Modius was working on government grants (I believe).

            The Anarchs are far nastier in 5th Edition with The Anarch showing them as including some genuine monsters and shocking crimes among the idealists (thanks to Grumpy RPG Reviews for doing a review of that). The differences between Modius and he strike me as having grown much-much larger and that's an interesting artistic choice. Juggler in 5th Edition turns out to be (mostly) sincere in his political convictions, being a 19th century communist akin to Salvador Garcia. He also has a Humanity of 6, which means that he might occasionally kill people and be a violent asshole but he's a far cry better than Modius' "low even for most elders"/serial killer Humanity 3. Hell, he's apparently a better person than Allicia.

            Taking this at face value, I wonder how much of the "Old Juggler" was the direct influence of Tyler. Part of what I've enjoyed about 5th Edition is that the use of Dominate, Presence, and the Blood Bond may actually mean that you've rarely met the "real" vampire for a lot of Cainite NPCs. The real Critias is a petty scheming asshole. The real Modius might actually be a lot harder and tougher man than the mad fop (and able to be a socialist leader). The real Juggler might actually have been a Salvador or Jeremy MacNeil if not for the fact he was Blood Bound to Tyler, who might HERSELF have been out of character due to controlled by Helena.

            Shepherd Book: “Live with a man forty years. Share his house, his meals, speak on every subject, then tie him up, and hold him over the volcano's edge, and on that day, you will finally meet the man.”

            The interesting thing about Juggler as depicted here is that he really does seem like someone who could have been a great leader of the Anarchs if left on his own. However, he's a guy with decades of reputation of uselessness and failure. He'd really be much better moving on from Chicago and Gary both, especially since Evelyn Stephens is doing a better job herself. I could easily see Juggler becoming like LA By Night's Annabelle's sire, Carver, and being a dark mentor for the Movement as a whole.

            Or maybe he'll just fall back into old patterns.

            Notes

            * I like that Juggler has updated his look but the irony is that he actually looks MORE dated than his timeless white suit from before (depending on the expense--it could have made him look like Don Johnson) to leather vests. He currently looks like he's trying out for Motley Crue.

            SO, BIGGEST QUESTION: WHITE SUIT VERSUS MOTLEY CRUE?



            I choose to imagine the white suit looking like this:



            * There's a decent amount of racial commentary in Juggler's past with the statement he only survived a riot due to being white. Also, this:

            Timing: It was only a matter of time before someone eliminated Juggler. Over 80% of the Kindred in Gary are black. How long were they going to kneel before yet another white elder?
            * Arthur planning to murder Juggler if he ever gets back is an interesting plot, just because I imagine Juggler would consider him beneath suspicion. I also fully expect Allicia would be happy to help as just because he hated Modius doesn't mean she ever cared for him in return.

            * Given Tyler's renewed status as the most Anarchiest Anarch Ever, I wonder if that was how Juggler got Blood Bound to her. I don't see them as likely lovers.

            * I forgot that "Old Juggler" had a Humanity 7 so he was always a much nicer guy than I remember ever playing him. Then again, Modius was Humanity 6 so the former DID degenerate much more than the latter.

            * Oddly, I think Juggler would be on Gengis's list because I imagine those two would be extremely close friends. Really, the irony is that most of Gengis' list are either now Camarilla themselves like Damien or they would never accept membership.
            Last edited by CTPhipps; 04-14-2021, 12:36 AM.


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

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            • Eric Sharpe



              Synopsis: Too good for this shit

              Analysis: Eric Sharpe is an interesting character, being a sign of why exactly Kindred don't necessarily embrace the best and brightest all the time. Because Eric Sharpe is the best and brightest and is probably going to hit wassail within the next five years. That is, if he doesn't end up getting himself killed trying to establish his own kingdom or fighting in the war for someone he's false put his trust into.

              Eric is a former United States Marine, clearly has some intelligence background, and is someone who is absolutely aching to take on some serious challenges. Instead, he's been shuffled from one businessman Ventrue boss to another and only recently taken into the service of Maxwell. Maxwell who has a somewhat genuinely insane plan to try to take Chicago by force. A place where Eric is going to strike the first blow by slaughtering the Kindred of Gary, Indiana.

              Or attemping to, at least.

              Eric is, in simple terms, too good for this shit. He should be working as an Archon or at least a Sheriff or Hound. Instead, he's essentially pulling stakeout (no pun intended) duty on people who largely aren't plotting anything violent. Kindred function more like gangs versus the military.

              Originally posted by Example
              I'm reminded a bit of The Godfather novels by Mario Pulzo where it was established that Michael Corleone's big massacre at the end of the first movie, that the movie treated as his greatest triumph, was actually an enormous screw up for the Corleone family. Michael, being a WW2 veteran, was trained to kill his enemies. However, the mafiso is something more like unfriendly rivals. Ergo, the Corleones ended up with decades of problems plus the second war that Michael fought because the unwritten rule was that "Bosses are Off-Limits."

              Eric strikes me as someone similar who would hate the slow chess moves of Kindred society.
              Eric is unfortunately probably doomed because he already has a Humanity of 3 after just 9 years and everything about him says that he wants to engage in more mayhem as well as battle, probably being fed on by the Beast. When your ambition is, "Find a real war to fight" then you either need to develop a Path of Enlightenment or get your head on straight. Its sad that it's stated he's Blood Bound to Maxwell since that means that he is going to be used and spit up. Maxwell has no love for Ventrue, especially grandchilder of Lodin.

              I actually feel kind of bad for the guy because it would be nice if you could talk him out of his situation or point out nothing is stopping him from being his own leader. However, since his Conviction is, "Never concede to an Anarch" that means he's drunk the Kool Aid badly and probably unsalvageable. I like that his Touchstone is a woman in Gary, though, and think if Maxwell were to be destroyed then he might run off with her. However, it says something when probably the best chance to avoid wightdom for a character is to join the Sabbat and get on the Path of Honorable Accord. Dude has a Black Hand membership waiting for him.

              Roleplaying Suggestions

              * I actually would change this character to being a Toreador and childe of Modius. The idea of being an 8th generation Marine Embraced by Modius to be his Sheriff is an interesting idea. Especially if Modius blood bound him early on and he was torn between his contempt as well as superiority. I like Alan Sovereign but find this a bit more compelling.

              * I would also put Eric Sharpe as a resident of Gary and joined the military to get out of the place. You could make it so he thinks he's fighting for his "home" in a perverse way.

              * I'd also change Eric's feeding restriction from "people who are afraid" to "veterans." Because that strikes me as the kind of sick irony that Eric would suffer from. I love when Ventrue feeding restrictions are terrible not enjoyable.

              * Shemar Moore seems like a great Eric Sharpe.

              Last edited by CTPhipps; 04-14-2021, 01:36 PM.


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

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              • Because everyone loves HOME BREW material, I thought I'd share some Loresheets I made for my Gary game:

                New Loresheet 1#: Allicia

                The devastatingly beautiful siren of Gary, Indiana has always been a big fish in a very small pond. She's since started to move beyond that since emerging from Modius' shadow. Player characters who know her still find her mysterious and entrancing but have also come to appreciate her other qualities like her naked ambition to be more.
                ----

                * Mysterious yet Sexy: Allicia knows how to charm mortals and any attempt to feed via seduction has its difficulty reduced by one. She can do more with a look or smile than many Kindred through hours of conversation.

                ** Seen but Not Heard: Allicia has immense practice in being able to become invisible during conversations. She's imparted on you some of her skill in being unobtrusive during social situations. Any attempt to compel other people to talk around you or ignore you is reduced by 1.

                *** Allicia's Favorite: Allicia and you are either lovers, friends, or close confidants. As such, she will serve as a three dot Malwa. Her influence is limited to the Anarchs, music scene, Torch locations, and local businesses but is growing and may become a 4 dot Malwa soon. It is likely to be a two way street, though.

                **** The Power of Hate: Allicia has learned things about resisting the Blood Bond that most Kindred could not imagine and this can be passed down, though usually through tough training. If you have shared her blood and training you can add three extra dice once per storyline to resisting the command of another Kindred. This can also be added to a Willpower expenditure.

                ***** The Torch: Using the money of her newest lover, Allicia has franchised the Torch into a successful upscale strip club line throughout the Upper Midwest. They are significantly classier than many flesh joints to the point they're almost (but not quite) respectable. You run or have influence over one with four dots to spend on Haven, Herd, Resources, or Chasse. Allicia notably has dedicated the building of the business to a dead friend and lover of hers named Sophia Ayes.

                ====

                New Loresheet #2: Arthur Caldwell

                Arthur has only been a vampire for about ten years and his influence is still very limited but he has some interesting habits as well as knowledge that comes from his unique position. He is a man who already believed in the occult before his transformation and his strange mindset means he can often pull bizarre but right conclusions from chaos.
                ----

                * Community of Nerds: Arthur is well-known in the Midwestern geek community to the point that mentioning his name is likely to put anyone to ease at virtually every gameshop, convention, cosplay show, or LARP. The difficulty of hunting there is reduced to 2.

                ** Better than a Bare Bulb: You have gained the aid of Arthur Caldwell who is willing to share his knowledge of Kindred society, the Anarchs, and Black Dog game trivia that is about as accurate as most occult books. You also get a discount of 20% off used books at the Black Cauldron. He is capable of serving as a two point Malwa.

                *** I'm with the Fat Man: Arthur may not actually realize it but he is Baron Evelyn Stephen (and formerly Juggler's) Emissary. Carrying messages between the Anarchs is actually a very prestigious position and he earned his wings helping Allicia take down Gary's Prince. The lowest Prince in America but still a Prince. As such, Arthur can arrange a meeting once per Chronicle with any Midwestern Anarch leader or gather a group of them.

                **** The Power of Love: Arthur's dedication to Allicia has supplemented his questionable willpower and he's learned to focus that devotion. His pure optimism on the subject has shown you a simple truth about Kindred existence others have ignored. When being forced by mind control or frenzy to go against someone you strongly care about (not necessarily your Touchstone), you can resist with three extra dice that stack with any willpower spent.

                ***** Dungeons and Demons: Arthur actually has learned a couple of supernatural rites from his Black Dog game books. This has been supplemented by occult knowledge he doesn't understand but can still use derived from the Church of Cain in Jollet. This requires at least 4 participants, a ST's screen, four hours, and candles. Once per chronicle, you can summon a spirit that is willing to answer one question about the local area or personas. ST's discretion if the spirit knows or can learn the answers the player desires. Werewolves become even more hostile in your presence, though, for the rest of the Chronicle. They also become capable of smelling your presence with an Awareness check (diff Humanity).

                ====

                New Loresheet #3: Night's Cross

                The Night's Cross is a rising star among the Second Inquisition. They are heavily recruiting from the evangelical and militia-based population of the Midwest, frequently going for numbers and enthusiasm over talent. Despite several disasters, they have successfully managed to kill multiple vampires and are slowly getting better. Unfortunately, Kindred are already starting to notice them and see them as a way to potentially get into the backdoors of FIRSTLIGHT.
                ----

                * Loose Lips, Sink Ships: You know where the Night's Cross chat online, gather in bars, and buy their guns. You are entirely capable of getting one fact about them or their operations per session.

                ** Vampire Slaying: You have managed to learn some of the Night's Cross techniques for staking and killing vampires. You receive two extra damage dice when attempting to stab a vampire through the heart.

                *** Arms Trafficking: The Night's Cross fund their activities through ways that probably wouldn't be approved of by their pastors. You are able to use your contacts with them to acquire military grade weaponry as well as spy equipment. This will cost two dots of resources until the end of the session depending on the material purchased.

                **** My Enemy of my Enemy: You can put the Night's Cross on another Kindred's trail and they are likely to launch an attack or otherwise disrupt their lives. This is very dangerous but you are skilled at covering your tracks.

                ***** Trading Up: You can use your contacts among the Night Cross to get information from the larger Second Inquisition. This includes information about other Kindred, their plans, and larger Second Inquisition operations. The Second Inquisition doesn't think much of the Night's Cross but overshares with their leaky ship.

                ====

                New Loresheet #4: Vanguard

                The Vanguard are a new elite group of Kindred that are essentially serving as a pro-Camarilla militia. The paramilitary group has no actual official status but most Midwestern Princes are willing to look the other way as long as they target only elements that they, themselves, despise like Anarchs or Thin Bloods. They have been so successful in their efforts that some are considering starting their own version of the group. Their enemies, obviously, consider them to be little better than blackshirts.
                ----

                * Anarch Slayer: Eric Sharpe has trained you in military techniques most Kindred are not familiar with. Gain one reroll her session on Firearms, Melee, or Stealth attempts against Anarchs or Thin Bloods.

                ** Loyalist: The fanatical loyalty of the Vanguard to the Camarilla is well known. As such, to Pro-Camarilla Kindred, then difficulty rolls are reduced by two when dealing with subjects related to the good of the sect.

                *** Backup: The Vanguard can be called upon once per session to provide military backup in the form of ghouls, weapons, or information. It will not endanger its larger goals but can usually be a great boon to military operations.

                **** Look the Other Way: Provided you have committed your offenses against "undesirables" of the Camarilla, you can make one violation of the Traditions go away for you per session. This also applies to any backup or henchmen involved involved in it. Anything short of diablerie or openly breaking the Masquerade can be shoved under the rug in the pursuit of "order."

                ***** The Man Behind the Man: Maxwell will serve as your four dot Malwa and offer you access to his vast network of material support as well as military ties ranging from Chicago to Sao Paulo. Maxwell is perfectly willing to shower you with rewards if he believes you can benefit his return to Praxis of the Second City.

                ====
                Last edited by CTPhipps; 04-14-2021, 12:54 PM.


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

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                • Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                  * I really would love a confrontation between Olaf One-Eye and Modius. Just because I'm imagining a scene like the ending of the Hunger Games books where President Snow literally laughs himself to death upon seeing the fate of his rival.
                  A final confrontation between these two disasters of vampires would be good, but probably have the most meaning at the end of chronicle that spanned decades - so the PCs can see the two from at least the 1980s until now. but for neonates a confrontation between these two would be meaningless - just a fight between two insane and pathetic randos.

                  Also, using an image of Snowflame is, if not inspired, too good to ignore. In my head Juggler now sounds like Snowflame from Atop the Fourth Wall;



                  Sharpe and Caldwell strike me as variations on a theme; people who are not trying to be prince or lords of evil or whatever, who are underestimated, who can do a lot of damage, and the kind of people drawn into the world of vampires and ruined by that fact.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post

                    A final confrontation between these two disasters of vampires would be good, but probably have the most meaning at the end of chronicle that spanned decades - so the PCs can see the two from at least the 1980s until now. but for neonates a confrontation between these two would be meaningless - just a fight between two insane and pathetic randos.
                    Agreed.

                    Though I'm now imagining it ending one of two ways:

                    1. Megatron always beats Starscream: Lodin frenzies, diablerizes Modius, and gets up--fully healed. In the end, he was always going to be the champion of the two.

                    2. What do I do now?: Same, only Modius kills his rival at last then looks down and realizes he has NO IDEA what to do with the rest of his unlife.

                    But yes, you could do a cool chronicle combining BAPTISM BY FIRE, ASHES TO ASHES, and then possibly RUSTED JUNGLE with the players moved around a bit. You might have Olaf replacing Maxwell except its revealed that he's a Sewer King lunatic rather than an evil genius and only coherent through the letters he sends Sharpe.

                    Also, using an image of Snowflame is, if not inspired, too good to ignore. In my head Juggler now sounds like Snowflame from Atop the Fourth Wall;
                    One of Linkara's best running gags.

                    Sharpe and Caldwell strike me as variations on a theme; people who are not trying to be prince or lords of evil or whatever, who are underestima[ted, who can do a lot of damage, and the kind of people drawn into the world of vampires and ruined by that fact.
                    Interesting observation.

                    I now have an image in my head of Sharpe trying to kill Caldwell as a message and the latter surviving. Not winning, mind you, but surviving and that calls into question Eric's assumptions that the experiences of their mortal lives really apply at all to their postmortem ones. His group of Marines and training should be easily able to take a bunch of barley trained Anarchs, some of which were overweight nerds and Jazz Ages debutantes--but the mortal rules don't apply the same.

                    Who you were can't inform who you become as the Beast is the great equalizer.
                    Last edited by CTPhipps; 04-15-2021, 11:42 AM.


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

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                    • Rusted Jungle FINALE Analysis

                      Type: Final thoughts

                      Analysis: I really should be writing my third Straight Outta Fangton novel instead of doing yet another article on this but when you're inspired, you're inspired. In this case, here's my final summary on what I think of Rusted Jungle. I really like it but I'm going to probably surprise some people that I think the adventure is probably my fourth favorite--which is still above most Chronicles and adventure modules as a whole.

                      The new version of Gary, Indiana is a perfectly decent mid-sized city to adventure in but doesn't have the same level of scary tactics or adventures as the other settings in the book. The conflict between the Vanguard and the Gary Anarchs doesn't have the level of drama as Matt Decker or even Willerton with the Harvest God. I think part of this is the fact there's nothing quite as personal with Eric Sharpe vs. Evelyn Stephens as there is with Juggler versus Modius.

                      Indeed, I would argue that a more personal conflict might be Gregory Stephens and his Special Hazards Squad versus Evelyn Stephens. Maxwell is a bit of an outside context problem and doesn't even care that he controls Gary, it's just a convenience to his larger objective of taking Chicago. As such, I think it might be more interesting to put Modius (recovering 90% of his sanity after a year or two in torpor as well as potentially snapping his Blood Bond to Annabelle) or Olaf One-Eye.

                      I like the character of Eric Sharpe but kind of feel he's undeserved by the plotline as well. Part of his characterization is that he's someone who is is just passed from one Kindred master to another, like a knife or holding. That's part of the tragedy but I think it could be played up if he thinks he's actually in charge. A very interesting version of the character would be one who doesn't know he's working for Maxwell and thinks he's seizing praxis in Gary to make a home for the discarded loyalist Camarilla agents in his service. Yes, that would literally make him Big Boss from Metal Gear 5.



                      The "deal or die" ending of Maxwell also lacks some drama as the player characters will either agree [whether sincere or not] or they will be vastly overwhelmed. The obvious solution is to remove the stakes from either Modius or Juggler but I feel that's not necessarily an obvious answer since both would undoubtedly frenzy rather than cooperate. I think having both of them imprisoned while awake would be slightly better, at least giving the players the chance to work with them. Maxwell might even have both Dominated or Presenced into submission as a way to demonstrate his power. That makes the odds even more overwhelming, though.

                      Sullivan Dane's survival is something that tickles me but he's about 70 years old now or at least mid-sixties, so he's not exactly going to be a spring chicken unless he's got some supernatural help keeping him young--which earlier material says he's explictly not. A letter isn't quite enough to make it dramatic and as surprising as that might be, I might "end" the Chronicle with the PCs escaping or making a deal with Maxwell only to have him decapitated in his haven the next day. Gary is now there's, if they want it, because the Second Inquisition is there to pick them off once their in-fighting weakens them.

                      The biggest problem with Evelyn Stephens as Baron is also, well, she's too nice. Effective, strong-willed, progressive, and determined to make a better Anarch Free State. Its essentially the problem with Maldavis in that serving in her gang lacks tension. Aside from her excessive love of Juggler and willingness to step aside should he return, I feel like there should be more flaws to her reign. Even Anita Wainwright has Gengis there to undermine her.

                      Possible ones

                      1. Covering up for Gregory Stephens and his involvement in the Second Inquisition. Maybe lying and claiming he's under her control.
                      2. Informing to the Second Inquisition via Special Agent William Shepard about the Camarilla or "evil" Kindred (Gordon Keaton is a good call).
                      3. Allicia plotting to Blood Bond her and make her a figurehead leader. Because Humanity 5 Toreador.
                      4. Evelyn being Blood Bound or Dominated already by Lucian, Nerissa Blackwater, or Tyler.
                      5. An exaggerated sense of her own importance like plans to assassinate Kevin Jackson or the Primogen.
                      6. Juggler's Anarchs and her Loyalists (Allicia and Arthur) being sharply divided over who to follow.
                      Still, I very much appreciated this update to my favorite city in the V:TM world.

                      Now onto NPCs, Loresheets, and so on. We covered a lot of the NPCs but I'd skipped over a few important ones. I also would like to revisit some I skipped over like Keisha Phelps and Tyrone Soros.


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

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                      • NPCs

                        Well, it's time to get to the NPC section of the book. We've actually covered a good chunk of these and I won't be repeating myself. I will be doing the Ministry section of Innocence in Blood over, though, because I kind of skipped past them to get to Gary. What can I say, I was terribly excited.

                        Brujah

                        We covered all of these. Juggler, Evelyn, and Maxwell.

                        Caitiff

                        Elizabeth Forster



                        Synopsis: Failed academic turned woman on the run. Possible Salubri.

                        Analysis: Grumpy RPG Reviews did a fairly good observation that this book is full of relatively "normal" people who are Embraced and proceed to have their lives utterly destroyed by the process. In the case of Elizabeth Forster, she reminds me of a lot of academic young women I've known working at university. Yes, she had an affair with her professor that blew up in her face but her life is distressingly absent of horrifying twists until vampires came into her life.

                        In this case, Elizabeth gets Embraced by her sire after his machinations get her entire family killed by the Cult of Isis. She is then abandoned by him in order to save his life. Kevin Jackson, not really being overly sympathetic to Caitiff, proceeded to tell her to sod off. As such, she's become friendly with Sun Che but otherwise is just eking out as best an existence as possible. She has also developed a mild misandry due to the fact man after man has betrayed her as well as the influence of Sun Che.

                        The two essential "twists" of Elizabeth Forster are the fact that the Cult of Isis that murdered her family is tied to the Cultivators of Chicago. They're both Lilith cults and poor Elizabeth is about to be brought into one of those Bioware situations where, "Orsino actually helped kill your mother, Hawke!" It's a nice little twist but since Nerissa Blackwater is involved, there's no way that will end well. 5th Generation Drowned roughly means that there's nothing the player characters can do unless they brought a rocket launcher.

                        The second twist is the fact that Elizabeth is apparently descended from the Salubri. I actually am curious if she's Caitiff and being Salubri didn't "take" or her Third Eye will develop if Ducas ever teaches her Obeah. I think the latter would be more interesting as otherwise, being descended from the Salubri but not one lacks punch. Note: This was written before the Companion was released so there was no way to make her a Salubri, even an unknowing one, as the rules didn't exist yet. Sort of like how Shejana was described as "Caitiff" despite being obviously still Ravnos.

                        The character being tied to Sun Che is also good because I like both interconnectedness of NPCs as well as the fact Sun Che is a nice subversion of multiple Tremere stereotypes. She's a hippie cult-leading granola girl who is also a regular serial murderer. Either because she's "possessed" (which seems more likely) or because she's just completely unable to control her Beast (which I prefer). I wouldn't be surprised if she plans on seducing Elizabeth too, even if she was straight while alive.

                        Overall, I like Elizabeth Forster and think she's a useful character to put in a game because her allying with the PCs would give her options that didn't previously exist. I can see her also being distrusting of male PCs even if they're a great deal nicer than most vampires due to the fact that she's had a history of being burned by dudes. That gives some room to grow.

                        Suggestions

                        + Rather than put in Chicago, I'd actually recommend that you put her in Gary, Indiana. She might be working with the Anarchs or Vanguard (or both) to find a place for herself. Depending on how sympathetic or unsympathetic you want to make her, she might be willing to betray her side to get out of Gary where she stands out like a sore thumb.

                        + I see Elizabeth as someone who flunked out of Critias' school for uneducated Caitiff. Not because Elizabeth wasn't smart enough or tried hard enough but because Neo-Critias is a sexist POS and probably disliked her education level. Just another reason for her to be pissed at the patriarchy.

                        + I would have Arthur Caldwell nickname her "Babs" after Barbara Gordon. I doubt the two would get along.
                        Last edited by CTPhipps; 04-18-2021, 06:39 PM.


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

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                        • Oh, since we're doing NPCs, I thought I'd share up my write-up for Sullivan Dane. I was going to submit him for CULTS OF THE BLOOD GODS but it didn't work out:

                          Sullivan Dane

                          Epitaph: Saint of the Hunt

                          Quote: "If you truly wish to atone, then Final Death is not something to fear."

                          Mortal Nights: Too Long against Evil



                          Sullivan Dane is a name that is whispered among Neonates and loathed by Ancilla as well as Elders. Some have called him the greatest vampire hunter in history or at least the Modern Age. Neither is precisely true as there are individuals like Nathaniel Borduff, Caiaphas Smith, Leopold von Murnau, and a handful of others who exceed him either in either body count or the age of his kills. He is, however, one of the most successful ones this century and the last. Whereas most Inquisitors may destroy a few vampires if they are lucky and call it a career, Sullivan Dane has dozens of vampire kills to his name and many of them are Elders. Even more surprising, Sullivan Dane has achieved this with a minimum of collateral damage.

                          Born in 1957 in Mapperly, United Kingdom, Sullivan was always a strange child. Growing up in a very conservative household, he was unlike other children in that he had an intense religious faith that bordered on the fanatical. It wasn't helped by the fact that he often saw things that shouldn't have been there ranging from spirits in the garden, fairies hiding behind the faces of neighbors, and ghosts. His parents despaired of their son and considered him mentally ill, eventually sending him off to boarding school. Sullivan converted to Catholicism by the time he was eighteen and was a Jesuit priest by twenty-three in 1980. He was assigned to work in Washington D.C. and already scouted by other forces that recognized the aura of the strange clung to him.

                          On the streets of Georgetown, while ministering to a mostly indifferent flock, Sullivan encountered a Caitiff vampire named Maggie Kyle. Maggie was a bitter soul living under the radar of Prince Vitel and fed on the homeless Sullivan sought to inspire. She attempted to use her powers to force him to renounce God, sleep with her, and then humiliate himself in public. Maggie was stunned Sullivan proved completely immune to mental manipulation and drove her away with faith when she tried to feed.

                          Later, Sullivan would use his formidable intellect to track her down and a combination of folklore as well as deductive reasoning to destroy her. His attempts to inform the Church got him branded a lunatic but the Society of Leopold scooped him up before criminal charges could be filed. Sullivan would have destroyed his first seven vampires by 1992 and his move into the city of Gary where he began monitoring the Damned to find out their sinister schemes. It was then he discovered they were not the creatures he expected as a member of the Society of Leopold's Children of Lazarus. They had personalities, friendships, rivalries, regrets, and loves.

                          The vampires Allicia and Michael convinced him not all undead were irredeemably evil even as the actions of Juggler and Modius convinced him many were. Sullivan left the area for almost a decade following an apocalyptic blood red moon where he almost died battling a literal demon. Sullivan's activities for the next decade would test his faith multiple times as a Red Star appeared in the sky, God seemingly blessed hundreds of hunters with a true sight akin to his own, and he encountered many beings more overtly evil than the vampires he normally hunted.

                          Unbeknownst to the Inquisition, Sullivan became a secret convert to the Florentine Heresy and released several Thin Bloods scheduled for torture and death. It is to his disgust he lied about his actions and he sometimes wishes he'd accepted martyrdom for his actions. Since that day, he was only interested in the worst of the undead like the Samedi wight Jean Delisle or "The Satanic Sabbath." Thankfully, in a perverse way, there was never a shortage of these to occupy his time.

                          After a failed attempt to destroy Modius and Juggler in 2011, Sullivan's life changed with the arrival of the Second Inquisition and the realization he was getting too old to continue the hunt. The Society of Leopold was revitalized with government funding and an army of indoctrinated special ops. soldiers. His ambivalence toward the Society of Leopold's methods became disgust as the new Inquisitor General proved to be one of the most ruthless in centuries. Only his reputation as an individual of profound piety and success against the undead kept him from being "quietly retired."

                          Sullivan has been assigned a new mission, both to keep him out of the way of the Society's new agenda and also because he has insight into the minds of Kindred that others don't. The Kindred have apparently been expanding their own blasphemous version of the Catholic Church, revering the First Murderer, and have given Sullivan the impossible task of destroying it. Sullivan must decide to fight this genuine heresy with fire or words...or whether his actions are better used against his own order.

                          Plots and Schemes

                          - Stop the Anti-Christ: Sullivan is genuinely appalled at the existence of the Church of Caine. He is probably the most knowledgeable non-supernatural in the world on Cainite religion and knows about both it, the Bahari, the "Paths of the Sabbath", and Hecata. He believes all of these things lead away from God's forgiveness and the myth of Golconda. He can't share this with the Society of Leopold since the idea vampires can be saved at all is heresy. What Sullivan wants, though, is to find allies he can talk out of the heresies and convince of an alternative religion. This requires talking to actual vampires, though, and trying to persuade him to work for not only their personal redemption but the redemption of their fellow Damned.

                          - Miracle or Magic: Miracles happen around Sullivan Dane. This is just a fact of his life. Wounds heal far faster than normal, his old age hasn't deteriorated his fighting skill nearly to the extent it should have, and he once cleansed a ghoul or Thin Blood of their curse (something even he's not entirely sure about). He is uncharacteristically afraid of investigating these events because he worries he's tapping into something beyond God's will. If he were to accept he is more than just an instrument of divine power but a willing channel, he might awaken to something he wouldn't know how to handle. It doesn't help that Sister Rose is encouraging him along these lines.

                          - Reform the Inquisition: Despite the fact he doesn't believe all vampires should be killed (at least not without some effort to save their souls or break their curse), Sullivan Dane is still aware they operate under a dreadful curse that endangers the innocent. As such, he's been ambivalent about the genocidal plans of the Second Inquisition. An avalanche begins with a rolling stone and he has "humanized" the undead and the methodology for hunting them among numerous soldiers he's worked with. This has not always worked out well with some horrified by their actions or others believing he verges on being a traitor. Ultimately, Sullivan must choose whether to buckle under the "greater good" or martyr himself by publishing a coherent defense of mercy for even the most wretched.

                          - A Good Death: Now in his sixties, Sullivan Dane knows his career is coming to an end. The fact he is able to fight on better than most hasn't removed the emotional toll of the Hunt. Decades of watching people destroyed emotionally and physically by the undead as well as being forced to kill individuals who were once good has left Sullivan with severe combat fatigue. Whether or not he has full-blown PTSD is questionable but he's already started becoming suicidal. He wants to end his Hunt either by dying in battle or martyring himself for a good cause. He's already tried several times to substitute himself for vampire victims or taken risks that would have gotten him killed if not for Sister Rose. Retirement is not an option for Sullivan Dane as long as there is evil to fight.

                          Domain and Haven

                          * The Unmarked Van (Haven 1, Arsenal 3): Sullivan Dane used to drive around in a 1973 black Lincoln Continental. This now being only slightly less obvious than driving around the Batmobile, he's since retired his beloved classic car for a white unmarked van. The vehicle is filled with a variety of anti-vampire weapons hidden in compartments disguised as catering equipment or pesticide tools (depending on the mission). Sullivan generally sleeps in cheap motels or churches that he's developed associations with. As such, he's virtually anonymous and moves freely from city to city without detection.

                          Thralls and Tools

                          * The Society of Leopold (Allies 3, Contacts 3, Resources 3): Sullivan is technically still a member of the Society of Leopold even though he's kept them at arm's length for almost a decade. The only spot on his record is the time the Thin Bloods escaped and he's destroyed enough vampires since then to allay most suspicions. Generally, the assumption is Sullivan is suffering burnout rather than any treasonous thoughts. Despite their encouragement for him to come home, retire, and take up a teaching position--the Inquisitor General herself has signed off on him to have whatever help he wishes (within reason).

                          * Supernatural Contacts (Contacts 4): It would be enough to find him guilty of heresy to find out Sullivan knows hunters "touched by God" from the turn of the millennia, interfaith magicians belonging to something called the Choir, and a couple of Thin Blood vampires he believes are not beyond redemption. These individuals have been known to feed him informatin even if they won't risk their lives for him. As such, Sullivan has a wealth of knowledge about the supernatural other Hunters do not. Using these contacts always puts them at risk, though, as the Second Inquisition wants to know how Sullivan has become so knowledgeable.

                          * Sister Rosemary Johnson (Retainer 4): Sullivan Dane's forty-year-old assistant and a talented theruge with a talent for pyromancy as well as defensive magic. Sister Rose was destined to be burned as a witch for her inability to keep her opinions to herself when Sullivan scooped her up. She is a Florentine heretic like himself and wishes to find a cure for vampirism rather than destroy them all. Most of her opinions now have been shared with Sullivan and he has vowed to keep them under the confessor's seal. These include the fact she believes the Society of Leopold does more evil than good, that vampires are redeemable, and that she is a lesbian. Sister Rose is much more overtly passionate than Sullivan and can be easily persuaded into believing a monster is innocent or irredeemable on flimsy evidence.

                          Kindred Relations
                          .
                          * Anatole (Terror): Anatole is the one vampire who Sullivan Dane is terrified of. It is not for fear of his soul or body but what Anatole represents. Sullivan sees him as burning with God's power but it is not a god of love that empowers him but a god of blood. They have met twice and both times Sullivan barely escaped with his sanity intact.

                          * "The Beast" (Righteous Fury): A powerful demon that Sullivan encountered outside the Succubus Club and one that completely overwhelmed him. Sullivan Dane recognizes it as a being of pure evil and it attacked him as a servant of God. Sullivan has somewhat conflicting reports of this being and has confused it with the Toreador Helena at times. Both are, after all, inhumanly beautiful. If he can banish or destroy this "Gulfora" then he would consider his mission on Earth complete.

                          * Modius and Juggler (Unfinished Business): Neither Modius nor Juggler are close to being the worst vampires that Sullivan Dane has faced over the years (he actually fought a Baali once). They are, however, consistent and unrepentant in their evil. Sullivan has made a token effort to reach both but would be just as happy sending them to their Final Deaths. Both vampires consider him a dangerous annoyance they're surprised hasn't gotten himself killed yet.

                          Whispers

                          + Sullivan Dane helped lead the attack on the Vienna Chantry alongside several other Inquisitors. As such, he is a direct witness to the destruction (or not) of the Council of Seven.

                          + Sullivan Dane is one of the first of the "Imbued" and never realized it due to not possessing the internet or access to their network.

                          + Sullivan Dane is actually an unacknowledged mage that doesn't realize the power of "God" that flows through his veins is just hedge wizardry.

                          + Sister Rose and Sullivan's relationship is not wholesome. She has corrupted him with her feminine wiles to the practice of black magic.

                          + The Malkavian Anatole has had his eye on Sullivan for some time and intends to Embrace him.

                          Mask and Mein

                          - Sullivan Dane is a grim-looking well-muscled man with white hair and a short-well-trimmed beard. While in his sixties, he is in incredible shape for his age and could easily pass for a man a couple of decades younger. Sullivan prefers to wear black attire like a trenchcoat and Fedora but Sister Rose has convinced him to start wearing less conspicuous clothes while on the hunt. One quality that is noticeable is that he wears black leather gloves when on the hunt to disguise his fingerprints. This isn't actually necessary due to the Second Inquisition wiping his once considerable SAD file that linked him to dozens of Federal crimes. It is a file that could be reopened if he ever offends the Society's new allies.

                          - While Sullivan Dane no longer is wanted for questioning or many crimes attributed to him by both well-meaning law enforcement or Camarilla agents, he prefers to work under a variety of aliases provided for him by criminal associates. He keeps multiple false identities and could, theoretically, disappear even from the U.S. government if he wanted to (Mien 3).

                          - Sullivan Dane usually carries a pair of blessed silver-plated Berretas modified for use against supernaturals. It can carry clips of incendiary or silver-ammunition that inflict an extra three dice of damage. These aren't used simultaneously but kept in case he needs to share a weapon with Sister Rose or to arm civilians caught in the crossfire. Sullivan Dane also carries a centuries-old relic broadsword given to him by a Gladius Dei associate that can be used as both a cross to ward away vampires as well as a weapon that adds his True Faith score to any damage rolls. Dane is uncomfortable using this weapon as not only is it very conspicuous but he dislikes killing in the name of God now, even if it is sometimes necessary.

                          Sire: N/A
                          Embraced: N/A
                          Ambition: To rid the world of evil
                          Conviction: Protect the innocent
                          Touchstone: Sister Rose
                          Humanity: 9
                          Generation: N/A
                          Blood Potency: N/A

                          Attributes: Strength 2*, Dexterity 4*, Stamina 4*, Charisma 2, Manipulation 3, Composure 5, Intelligence 4, Wits 5, Resolve 4

                          Athletics (Gymnastics) 4*, Awareness (Vampires) 4, Brawl (Boxing) 4, Empathy 1, Intimidation 3, Streetwise (Street Culture) 4, Crafts 2, Drive 2, Etiquette 1, Firearms (Assassination) 4*, Insight 4, Larceny 3, Melee (Staking) 5*, Performance (Violin) 5, Stealth (Darkness) 5*, Survival 3, Academics 3, Computer 1, Investigation (Vampire Hunting) 5, Law 3, Medicine 2, Occult (Vampires) 4

                          Secondary Attributes: Health 7, Willpower 10

                          True Faith: 4

                          * If Sullivan Dane ever loses his mystical aura of faith then these attributes will be halved, rounded down, due to age and injury.

                          ** If Sullivan ever fully awakens, he will gain Arete 3, Entropy 2, Life 2, and Prime 2 that he will use to perform coincidental "luck" magic, sensing vampires, healing injuries, and inflicting aggravated damage. It will also restore him to his full bodily strength for at least another decade or two. He will no longer have True Faith but a more mixed and questioning relationship with God.


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

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                          • I usually play Sullivan Dane in my games as Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino, an old, tired and sad man who struggles between callousness and compassion. He is like the anti-hero in some crepuscular western, damned to die and worst, their efforts damned to being useless. Because vampires are going to still ruining Gary and Chicago long after Dane.

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                            • Originally posted by Justycar View Post
                              I usually play Sullivan Dane in my games as Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino, an old, tired and sad man who struggles between callousness and compassion. He is like the anti-hero in some crepuscular western, damned to die and worst, their efforts damned to being useless. Because vampires are going to still ruining Gary and Chicago long after Dane.
                              Cool depiction!

                              Yeah, Sullivan Dane may be the best of monster Hunters but the piece de resistance of his actions is probably going to be an Elder like Modius versus someone like Lucian. I originally had Lucian be the monster that Dane was hunting in my write-up but with the current rules then he'd be utterly impossible for Dane to kill or already Beckoned.
                              Last edited by CTPhipps; 04-19-2021, 12:50 PM.


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

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                              • J.W. Blue



                                Type: NPC

                                Synopsis: A Caitiff dock worker turned vampire seneschal.

                                Analysis: J.W. is a character that I feel like is one of those rare Camarilla ones that you'd actually want to associate with. At least in any kind of position of authority. I think Damien is also meant to be that but he also carries the stigma of being a "Judas Anarch" (slang from my games) that describes vampires like Tara, Balthazar, and Cecily Bane. J.W. is more like the Edward Neally that I know some 1st Edition gamers enjoyed. The long-suffering Seneschal who is meant to be slightly more approachable than the hardass Prince. I've always said the Seneschal is meant to be Smithers and the Prince to be Mr. Burns.

                                J.W. Blue isn't officially Mark Decker's Seneschal and is actually "just" a Hound but I think he works perfectly as the kind of person who could represent the messenger, diplomat, and executive that the role represents. Certainly, Mark Decker doesn't have any need for JW as a Hound since he has the Anubi (whether they'd resent that title or not) and those aren't his strengths anyway. Really, I could see the reason that he's not officially a Seneschal is because Mark actively disdains the Camarilla court system so much that he thinks its unnecessary.

                                I also want to give kudos for the writer of this character for managing to IMPLY horrible evil without overtly staying it. Blue, despite being an extremely friendly neighborhood vampire by appearance, has a Humanity 5 and the implications of his sire's business is that he's a human trafficker/slaver. Blue is Blood Bound to his sire, so there's nothing that he can do about the process and I think that's a very dark but effective piece of storytelling. That is unless you want to just make what is being smuggled for vampires NOT people but, say, cigarettes or whatever else you want to bring from or to Canada.

                                There's a lot that can be done with JW Blue, though I think he's kind of unnecessary in the current write up of LTSRR's characters. I think it might be a good idea to actually make Honor Mercer black and have her be his real daughter since I don't quite 100% buy him seeing his son in the rich nature-worshiping white girl. Its possible but a bit of a stretch. Another way to do it would be that she was his stepdaughter but that's still getting around the business of them coming from two very different worlds.

                                I think JW also makes a very interesting candidate for replacing Mark Decker as Prince. While his status as a Blood Bound vampire means that he'd be a pawn of his sire, there's plenty of things that can happen there and he strikes me as the kind of guy who can employ the velvet glove over the iron fist. His protectiveness of humans means that JW would still be a very harsh Prince but he might be able to release a lot of the steam that has been building up under Decker's tyranny. It would also be interesting to make a Camarilla Prince to be Caitiff.

                                Ironically, I would probably make a substitution for JW's sire in this game and change his Clan despite this. I would have JW's sire be the same as Mark Decker's in Lucian the 2000 year old 8th generation Gangrel. Why Lucian? He's already running a smuggling ring in the Great Lakes area and already an established presence.
                                Last edited by CTPhipps; 04-19-2021, 11:03 PM.


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

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