Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

How would you handle the Gehenna War?

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

  • How would you handle the Gehenna War?

    As suggested in the Classic to V5 Sabbat thread, a thread to discuss your takes and theories on the Gehenna Crusade.

    To borrow the questions posed by monteparnas

    Questions to answer [...]:

    1 - What happened to the Withering?

    2 - How to rework properly the Week of Nightmares?

    3 - What are the Antes and Methuselah doing now?

    4 - How screwed is Old-style Masquerade?

    5 - What happened to the Sabbat factions?

    6 - How the Family Reunion and Lasombra Defection played out?

    7 - What are the many groups doing about the above?

    8 - How or when does the Beckoning works, and when it doesn't?

    To this I'd also add:

    9 - What happened with the Fourth Sabbat Civil War?

    10 - What does the timeline look like?

    11 - What is the role of the SI in all this?

    12 - What if anything happened to the Tal'Mahe'Ra?


    STV Author - Guide to the Sabbat
    Current Project(s): Tales from the Fronts - A Guide to the Gehenna War

  • #2
    1- Withering is a price you may pay for resisting the Beckoning. I disliked it as a plot point, but I enjoy having the narrative option of using it to depower some elders.

    2- The Beckoning starts extremely subtle, a call very deep inside their heads, stopping when Ravnos wakes ups, drives half their Clan mad, slaughters villages, as the Camarilla/Ashirra scrambles to contain the Masquerade. Suddenly the rampage stops and no sign of Zapathusara remains. As things start to die down and Kindred return to normal, the Beckoning starts at full force. I never liked the cross splat parts of it, nor Ravnos dying (I'd keep the Ravnos with the same bane, but for willpower).

    3- Whatever the ST wants. I prefer to leave things like that vague, with only rumors of millenia old vampires gorging on their descendants appearing.

    4- Screwed enough for the SI to be a thing, but not enough for Vampires to go public or extinct.

    8- Whenever the ST wants. I'd say it affects you based on your Blood Potency, Humanity and Generation and calls you not necessarily to the middle east.

    12- Fell into oblivion, physically and metaphorically,

    The other points I have no particular opinion on.

    Comment


    • #3


      1. I think the Withering is no longer canon in the universe and was only canon in Gehenna but it seems strange that they incorporated so much from those scenarios but they skiped over this. Especially when you could do what the Times of Troubles did in AD&D Second edition. Basically, the Withering could be used to explain away a lot of changes to Disciplines and rules in-universe.

      2. I think the Week of Nightmares just has to be accepted as something that was meant to be gonzo and reflective of the world of darkness being different from the real one. Even so, I do change the location of the events to a rural area rather than the middle of one of the largest cities on Earth. Possibly reducing millions of casaulties ot hundreds of thousands.

      3. In my games, the Antediluvians are summoning their childer to them and judging them worthy or unworthy then eating the unworthy. As we see with Augustus Giovanni being destroyed and Saulot/Kupala or whatever defeated in Vienna, there have been some serious changes to the Jyhad but it will carry on to the next millennia.

      4. I think there's a very interesting arguement that the Masquerade will be preserved not by the Kindred but the fact that people don't want to believe in vampires. Millions of people could be informed about their existence but push the idea of their existence to the back of their heads because they don't want to believe it. That's a bit Requiem, though.

      5. Well, I gave my thoughts on that.

      6a. I feel like the Hecata is a big success for the Cappadocians. They're a Blood Cult, sect, and Clan all in one with Augustus Giovanni now destroyed. However, the end of theri Antediluvian may prove to be a loss in the long run since it just means that they are now vulnerable to the manipulations of the others of their kind.

      6b. I think the Lasombra are going to find themselves adjusting to life in the Camarilla very well. I don't think the Ventrue will try to punish the Lasombra because they're too interested in promoting their own power and the Banu Haqim have no issues with the Clan. I do think they're in for a few rough decades rebuilding, though, but the best of the Lasombra will survive.

      7. I think the Camarilla will survive as an Invictus-level group but the Anarchs are going to get worse the more they organize and more Sabbat-like.

      8. The Beckoning is just when the Antediluvians call you and its inconsistency is just when their attention comes to you. They'll get to everyone...eventually.


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

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
        Basically, the Withering could be used to explain away a lot of changes to Disciplines and rules in-universe.
        Is that actually a good thing? I honestly prefer retcons to contrived explanations.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by SetiteFriend View Post

          Is that actually a good thing? I honestly prefer retcons to contrived explanations.
          If you're going to make a radical change like restricting Disciplines to 5 then you actually have to, yes.

          Because it is a massive-massive part of the lore that Disciplines go past 5.

          Its presently a massive hole in the setting.


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

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Karos View Post
            As suggested in the Classic to V5 Sabbat thread, a thread to discuss your takes and theories on the Gehenna Crusade.
            To reiterate something I've posted elsewhere, the answers to the questions only matter (or the questions only need to be answered at all) if it is important to the game you are running. Otherwise it is not relevant.

            The withering probably didn't happen.

            The nature of the week of Nightmares is a mystery, but not as many Ravnos died as once thought.

            The Meths and Ante's are doing what they always do - try to survive by killing each other. It's the only thing they understand.

            The old masquerade is failing and falling apart, but so are so many other traditions, institutions and systems.

            I don't see a need to change the Reunion or the Defection.

            How are they dealing with it? Poorly.

            I don't worry too much about the Beckoning.

            The Sabbat as it had been destroyed itself when the Gehenna War and the Fourth Civil War became the same thing - most of the old sect was destroyed and the survivors splinted into factions.

            I don't see a need to change the timeline.

            The SI are wolves chasing a herd of deer, metaphorically speaking, and picking off the weak, slow, stupid and clumsy ones. To a survive a vampire doesn't have to out run the SI, they just have to run fast than the rest of the coterie.

            The Truest Black Hand No Really are toast.

            Gehenna is a cycle and a process. It currently manifests as the Gehenna War and is not over - it is inflict terrible damage to vampire and human societies.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post
              The nature of the week of Nightmares is a mystery, but not as many Ravnos died as once thought.
              I feel like it's more like the fact 20 years is enough for the Ravnos to repopulate to a certain extent. 200 Kindred were left after the Ravnos Antediluvian died but Hazmiel is a confirmed survivor (4th generation) according to the Clan Novels.

              And 200 isn't THAT far behind the other clans and more than many Bloodlines.


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

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

                I feel like it's more like the fact 20 years is enough for the Ravnos to repopulate to a certain extent. 200 Kindred were left after the Ravnos Antediluvian died but Hazmiel is a confirmed survivor (4th generation) according to the Clan Novels.

                And 200 isn't THAT far behind the other clans and more than many Bloodlines.
                I believe Durga Syn and her descendents in Russia were also noted as having largely survived the Week of Nightmares unscathed. And the Sabbat Ravnos were noted to have basically survived at almost full force (when they started frenzying their packmates staked them until it passed so very few of them ended up dying).

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post

                  To reiterate something I've posted elsewhere, the answers to the questions only matter (or the questions only need to be answered at all) if it is important to the game you are running. Otherwise it is not relevant.

                  The withering probably didn't happen.

                  The nature of the week of Nightmares is a mystery, but not as many Ravnos died as once thought.

                  The Meths and Ante's are doing what they always do - try to survive by killing each other. It's the only thing they understand.

                  The old masquerade is failing and falling apart, but so are so many other traditions, institutions and systems.

                  I don't see a need to change the Reunion or the Defection.

                  How are they dealing with it? Poorly.

                  I don't worry too much about the Beckoning.

                  The Sabbat as it had been destroyed itself when the Gehenna War and the Fourth Civil War became the same thing - most of the old sect was destroyed and the survivors splinted into factions.

                  I don't see a need to change the timeline.

                  The SI are wolves chasing a herd of deer, metaphorically speaking, and picking off the weak, slow, stupid and clumsy ones. To a survive a vampire doesn't have to out run the SI, they just have to run fast than the rest of the coterie.

                  The Truest Black Hand No Really are toast.

                  Gehenna is a cycle and a process. It currently manifests as the Gehenna War and is not over - it is inflict terrible damage to vampire and human societies.
                  I don't think it's about changing the timeline but clarifying the timeline.

                  There isn't really a detailed timeline of what happened between Revised and V5; hence the need for this thread.

                  Of course, if you don't see the timeline as necessary, then this probably isn't the thread for you.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    My own take is that the Gehenna War is less of a deal than many think. I really like the BJD bit that the ancients aren’t nearly as powerful as they pretend to be (the Ravnos incident was mostly Chimerstry 8-9 fueled by continual feeding on other supernaturals) or, if you want the Ravnos incident to be full strength, the full “plot device” aspect is only accessible in wassail.*

                    What this means in practice is that many Methuselahs are just as big, if not bigger, players of the Jyhad as the Antediluvians are… and because there is a cap on potency (basically at 4th Gen as I play it) it means some of so-called “Antediluvians” are actually Methuselahs playing the role of one for their own purposes.

                    The other notable thing to my handling it is that I have the Book of Nod conflating several things in its prophecies… specifically that the general process of Cyclical Gehennas (ancient wakes, chows down and goes back to sleep) and the Prophecy of the Dark Father/Last Daughter are two separate deals that got merged into one event (and with it the idea of a single final Gehenna) during the compilation of the Book of Nod.

                    The End Times hysteria c. 2004 was misreading the signs of the Last Daughter prophecy (who was prophecised to save the world from a particular infernally powered ancient, perhaps one of the Baali founders… Nergal/Shaitan, someone releases Moloch from under the ruins of Carthage, or the Nameless turns up) as the signs of a Final Gehenna.

                    As far as the Withering; I consider it canon only in alternate timelines where a final Gehenna actually arrived.

                    For the Beckoning, I set the Generations called at 7th or lower; not-coincidentally the generation just past what a PC can be in V20 (since I am not doing V5**) and it’s less a summons to the Middle East (since the Ancients are everywhere), but a general restlessness among the elders who then just leave suddenly and haven’t been seen again. A related proviso is that it also only seems to affect clans with extant founders; the Ravnos are unaffected, the Giovanni stop being affected once Augustus gets murdered, the Baali aren’t affected either (and one in my campaign has even been using the Beckoning as cover for taking out Elders it perceives as a threat to its goals). Two surprises on that front are the Ventrue (who are, ironically, being drawn into the coils of Set who diablerized Ventrue/Typhon to become an Antediluvian) and Brujah (drawn to Carthage to find and free their founder from the salted Earth… which would also free Moloch). By contrast, to the surprise of many, once Vienna falls the Tremere feel no beckoning at all.

                    For the Sabbat, basically all the sub-factions that didn’t align with the V5 Sabbat ended up as a sort of Anarch by default. Politics were played in the Crusade and some packs (particularly those not on the “correct” paths of enlightenment) just got overlooked or otherwise never got the call and by the time they figured it out… well to paraphrase the old political quote “I didn’t leave the Sabbat, the Sabbat left me.”

                    That’s where the pack in my campaign has found itself; they were mostly Honorable Accord and had a permanent station near Boston to serve as a way station for the more nomadic packs. When the Crusade got called, the leaders pulled in all the nomads, but just ignored the way station pack and then the leaders all died so there wasn’t even anyone to the pack to reach out to. Eventually they concluded they were on their own and basically became a small Anarch territory with the pack leader as de facto Baron. They still think of themselves as Sabbat, but wouldn’t recognize the V5 Sabbat as true Sabbat, nor visa versa.

                    In my present timeline, Vienna only just blew up and London and others are still in the future. Theo Bell was executed by Brujah elders with the Anarchs sheltering him made brutal examples of… the Brujah remain as committed to the Camarilla as ever. The rogue Assamites are in the last stages of negotiations with the Inner Circle for membership and have begun sending “ambassadors” to the courts of various Princes to introduce themselves.

                    The Family Reunion happened, but was entirely political, not supernatural. The Hecata are just a sect and not a Clan. The Lasombra didn’t try to join the Camarilla… those who found themselves on the outs due to the metamorphosis of the Sabbat often took their entire packs and resources into Anarch territory where they plan to rebuild as “leaders-in-exile.” The less fanatical ones see this an opportunity to jettison the less productive “Sword of Caine” aspects in favor of securing more temporal power.

                    * I have a further theory about wassail/wights… it has also been suggested in multiple places that the Antediluvians slip into and out of it periodically. My theory is this is how truly ancient minds deal with immortality and the periods of wassail are them literally reinventing themselves; they go in one way then, after it passes (decades or centuries barely matters to them), they emerge with a new fundamental Nature and the process begins again. This explains all the seemingly contradictory stories over the ages; sometimes just, sometimes cruel, sometimes warlike, other times peaceful. The Antediluvians almost literally become new people each time they regain their lucidity after falling into Wassail, because otherwise the weight of ages would just drive them to eternal slumber.

                    The follow-up on this is that this is NOT something unique to the Antediluvians; it’s what will happen with any vampire who falls to The Beast if they can survive long enough… the trick in the modern nights is so few are powerful enough nor is modern civilization (nor vampire society) organized in a fashion to give many the opportunity to finish out the process (decades to centuries).

                    ** Get me an official Dhampir that plays like they do in V20 and I’ll give it another look; until then I’ll pass.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'll repost here my take, and a couple more questions, along with answers to Karos' and some comments on others.

                      SetiteFriend, I used to have a very similar opinion on the Withering, but nowadays I found out that it isn't as problematic as it once seemed to be. As long as it isn't a permanent fixture, just a temporary occurrence, it does little more than add a mystery and justify some deep change in Status Quo.

                      CTPhipps, I'm not sure yet that they'll write-off the Withering. Too many changes are just too well explained by it. Also, IIRC it began at a novel, not in the Gehenna book, and even there it was by itself canon. Maybe they'll just avoid stating anything about it as much as they can because they don't know yet how to reconcile the events, their vision and their marketing.

                      On my own games the reformulation of the Tremere was bound to happen and had already started before V5 was published, so I have zero needs for the Vienna incident, which I consider badly written in many levels. But they can nuke Alamut for the same general effect with less of a fuss.

                      Ravnos are still a big thing, no clan-wide compulsion to self-destruction. This simply doesn't make sense.

                      And I like the lowering of the Disciplines as a means to get rid of some powers I considered more problematic than they sound at first. High level Auspex, Presence and Dominate make Methuselahs so abnormally capable at the main conflict of the game that there's no actual conflict. You may play the angst of doubting if your decisions are really your or magically planted, but it basically makes the chess of the Jyhad meaningless. Good riddance.

                      Originally posted by monteparnas
                      1 - What happened to the Withering?
                      I'd say it lasted about a year, maybe less. This is enough to leave a number of scars in Kindred society without collapsing it. Overall disciplines above level 5 seem to have been completely lost, although diablerie may temporarily give an elder access to them as per the Withering rules. Same for other higher traits. Disciplines up to five were recovered afterwards without much of a fuss, though.

                      But the other effects didn't faded without lasting consequences. Some Kindred stayed with the Thin Blood Flaw permanently, regardless of generation, mainly those who tried to stave off the Withering through diablerie repeatedly. Half of all Blood Bonds and Vaulderie breaking each month ravaged Kindred society, each side taking the toll on its own way, and the Bond never recovered the same strength (it's weaker already in V5).

                      Kindred society was ravaged by the sudden break of Bonds and eventual Diablerie scandals (I don't think they were that many, for several reasons, but they were a huge thing still), but even more by fear of the Withering. It may return, and indeed I think it may still exist as a plague that spread across cities sometimes and fades after unpredictable intervals.

                      Originally posted by monteparnas
                      2 - How to rework properly the Week of Nightmares?
                      Mostly I think it should be taken at face value with only two caveats. First that there was probably a large amount of locals involved, instead of white knights all over the place plus a bunch of Asian-but-still-foreign participants.

                      Second that it should be definitely high profile, not something swept under the rug. The effort of the Technocracy and others into covering it up worked for a time, but not without costs and not forever. It went to the news still as the most catastrophic typhoon in human history and got a lot of constant attention from rescuers, scientists, politicians and religious zealots.

                      By now its magical nature is known, although most details may still be missing for the general public.

                      Originally posted by monteparnas
                      3 - What are the Antes and Methuselah doing now?
                      Personally I don't like to boil this down to a standard answer for all, or even many, of them. I'd like instead to finally formalize a list of Antes and their current shenanigans.

                      My idea is that each Ante is now the focus of a bunch of plots and at least one faction, outside eventual cults or wannabe hunters, but factions directly related to their exploits.

                      For each of them I intend on writing a Revelation, how they became known, a Status & Agenda, how are they and what they're personally doing now, and a Forces, a write-up on people working under their command.

                      I particularly agree with Chris24601 about making the Antes less powerful than legend suggests. This reduces the disruptive effect of their mere presence and make them more useful as characters and plot devices. Most of their power should be just from being really old and being clan founders, or just being really old, as I like the idea of an extra number of them without their own clans.

                      Originally posted by monteparnas
                      4 - How screwed is Old-style Masquerade?
                      For me, totally.

                      The world knows.

                      Now back to business.

                      I don't think the Masquerade would hold just on society unwillingness to accept the truth. Also, exploring this Brave New World of a humanity on the know is half the fun of going forward with the metaplot at this point.

                      But I don't think this changes too many things, either. Vampires still have many secrets to guard from humanity, and many will want to remain in the shadows whatever comes their way, so there is still a sense of secrecy, a New Masquerade.

                      Something about getting as much as possible under the radar, presenting a fake face that can survive the call for destruction, and overall keeping the mortals out of your business.

                      Originally posted by monteparnas
                      5 - What happened to the Sabbat factions?
                      Other will work the details better than me, some have already done it, but in general I think the Sabbat fragments. This isn't always to say it shrinks, lose cohesion or even weakens, but it changes with factions old and new becoming more independent.

                      Originally posted by monteparnas
                      6 - How the Family Reunion and Lasombra Defection played out?
                      I don't know yet, although I think the Family Reunion mostly works out as intended. I also think they would send envoys to other sects and relevant groups to establish diplomatic relations. I don't see the necromancers being complete isolationists, never saw it making sense.

                      The Lasombra would have better written terms of defection.

                      Originally posted by monteparnas
                      7 - What are the many groups doing about the above?
                      First, freaking out. The Withering and the Fall of the Masquerade are a lot to digest. Then adapting and deciding what to do about the new factions the Ancient brought with them.

                      I think the Camarilla would come out to formalize its position at a higher level, while at a city level Princes would try to keep as much of their power and their way of life intact. First behind the scenes, then publicly, the Cam would send envoys to governments and international alliances to talk about vampiric law and partnership.

                      Most of it would boil down to pretend openness while working most the same as always, only with a few tweaks in the concept of Masquerade and maybe making Justicars and Archons into more-or-less public offices known to mortals.

                      Some Sabbat would double down on their depredations and stay at war with mortals, but many would find some sort of compromise to keep their lives. The default would probably be staying out of sight, although some of the Paths could actually try to find a niche to exist more or less openly. At the end of the day the sect itself would be seen as a loose coalition of cults, extremists and undead terrorists.

                      Originally posted by monteparnas
                      8 - How or when does the Beckoning works, and when it doesn't?
                      Actually I like the idea of the Beckoning being more a strange phenomenon than a conscious interference by the Ancients. Affected elders suffer from a compulsion they can't understand. It directs them to travel to a certain place and start a seemingly meaningless pattern of behaviors.

                      Some are strange projects with a sense of finality, like building something. Other are just weird routines they take every night. Others are rituals that have no apparent purpose. And all that may very well not have a purpose. Nothing should guarantee this is anything more than a new derangement.

                      Originally posted by Karos
                      9 - What happened with the Fourth Sabbat Civil War?
                      I'm not sure yet. It probably grew in proportion with the literal end of the world as we knew it intensifying the gap between factions.

                      Originally posted by Karos
                      10 - What does the timeline look like?
                      I would need some time to delve into it. Can you post the current timeline we have?

                      Originally posted by Karos
                      11 - What is the role of the SI in all this?
                      My take is that their role changes a number of times during the period. At first it is a number of officials in many disparate organizations figuring out that the Blankbodies exist and roughly coordinating. This First Iteration SI share info but otherwise have conflicting views and agendas. Most are still agents of their respective organizations first and foremost and only act from this POV. Either way, they become proficient at tracking their targets in their respective turfs.

                      A second iteration forms when the higher echelons of power can't ignore the situation anymore, but things are still under formal secrecy. Federal agencies, secret services and military move in with formal cooperation in place. As the most knowledgeable about the threat, the St Leopold secure a good place as consultants. This' when the biggest SI military moves happen and some major place goes boom, although I would go for Alamut instead of Vienna.

                      St Leopold is just being used, though. After a few months of strategic action the governments get what they really want, information and leverage, and most of them drop the zealots with a warning that what they want amounts to vigilantism or terrorism, and will be dealt with as such. Outside a few key places around the world, the Third Iteration SI goes underground again and in full. Their actions increase in frequency, but decrease in coordination.

                      It is at this point that they get their own Wikileaks. It is impossible to avoid a fair amount of information leaking through disgruntled or even plain dumb members, too many people know. If the Masquerade survives anything else then it goes down by the hands of the SI despite their own efforts in keeping it. After that the SI can resurface publicly as an idea. Probably at this point is when the most zealous hunter get bold in their actions.

                      Fifth and Definitive Iteration SI comes around once things start to stabilize. It is a conspiracy first, with a public face and a terrorist hand. They're inside the institutions trying to put their superiors against the vampires again. As they learn subtlety and manipulation they recover some of the power they had at Second Iteration, although they have to be careful at using it. Publicly they push forward policies they know will harm the undead.

                      What makes this SI particularly dangerous is that, while they coordinate groups of hunters and anti-undead terrorists, they also have the position and know-how of public officers, and can attack Kindred influence at home. They are hunters whose field is public administration and the corridors of power.

                      Originally posted by Karos
                      12 - What if anything happened to the Tal'Mahe'Ra?
                      The nuke on Enoch was a temporary setback. Few non-replaceable assets of the group really remain there and that was not the first time they lost it. It shook the confidence of many members, but the resulting conflicts in their views and interpretations of events weren't enough to disband them.

                      My view here is two-fold. First, while I feel as offended as most by the idea of the True Black Hand being secretly right about everything and whatnot, I learned to accept that they're not a bad option and that wiping them out with a vengeance was just childish.

                      Second, once you take away certainty, they're not a bad setting element, that can be used in many ways. They had a long debate about the meaning of recent events and many conflicting views still fly about, although the leadership seems to have reached a conclusion kept in secret.

                      A handful of members left the group, although this can be a ruse. Any of their plans and beliefs may be true, a ruse or be wrong. Today they may be more a collection of cults that happen to share a city than anything else, or they may be as subtle and competent as in DSotBH.

                      Whatever floats your boat, but the basic gist of an extra-dimensional city populated by this odd coalition/culture that believe to be world saviors is still there rebuilding their place. The Nagaraja's true allegiance by now varies with the individual, with dual allegiance being an option.

                      Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
                      13 - What happened to the Red Star?
                      First talking about canon, since early in its plot the Red Star is intended to be a real object, 28978 Ixion. This thing seems literally to be a giant ice rock covered in red organic slime, which in the real world do not means life by itself and certainly doesn't in its particular case.

                      So you can take the plots on mortal observations at face value: it was first seen by mortal astronomers as a comet, then it was confirmed to be just a particularly big chunk of ice in the Kuiper Belt. There is no explanation for Ixion being visible at naked eye for a period, and the end of the Masquerade may bring this up to mind.

                      IRL there are talks about a space mission to Ixion launching sometime between 2035 and 2040, with arrival there taking between 10 and 25 years. I think this would be of much interest for vampires, that can still see the damn thing with Auspex, but may want a closer look. Someone is trying to develop an Auspex power that works through an unmanned spacecraft.

                      Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
                      14 - How did the Red Sign (Conspiracy and spell) affected the world?

                      Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
                      15 - What happened to Afifa's child?


                      #NothingAboutUsWithoutUs
                      #AutismPride
                      She/her pronouns

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Ravnos are still a big thing, no clan-wide compulsion to self-destruction. This simply doesn't make sense.
                        Are the Ravnos a big thing?

                        Shejana in THE CHICAGO FOLIOS is someone that most Kindred don't even recognize the Clan of.


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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I’ll give my takes on this as they currently stand to add an additional perspective although I should note that I prefer V20 (nothing against V5 and the people who enjoy it, I just prefer V20) but I do take elements from V5 and do something I call V20.5, so I hope my additions are helpful and interesting for folks.

                          1. I don’t really use the Withering much at all. I might have it briefly happen during Gehenna scenarios when the truly ancient are stirring but I don’t generally use it as part of my default setting, except perhaps to describe the state of desiccation and desperate hunger that comes to venerable vampires after long centuries and part of why drives the thirst for vampiric blood to stave it off, but that’s more of a Methuselah’s Thirst thing.

                          2. I wrestle with the Week of Nightmares but ultimately it depends on the game and what gamelines are considered to exist. My usual default is that ancient beings did stir during that time and a catastrophe occurred in India-Pakistan which seemed to incite a horrible madness throughout clan Ravnos that destroyed many (especially in their ancestral domains within South Asia), however it’s unknown what arose or if it was truly destroyed as some suggest.

                          3. I usually have the Antediluvians or Clan Progenitors still trapped in altered states such as torpor but also capable of extending their influence throughout the world via servants and mystical connections with their descendants. This causes stuff like the clan banes/urges in V5 (Brujah feel broiling conflict and anger between symbolic representations of reason and passion, Gangrel are drawn into the wilderness as well as filled with an unyielding survival instinct, Malkavians are tormented by visions of their own psyches as well as the collective unconscious of humanity and yet older things, etc). That isn’t to say that they can’t be walking around and doing things but I envision few who are or would - most I think are simply caught in the struggle against their kin while they all simultaneously seek ultimate power and transcendence of their limitations to finally end the eternal struggle. The methuselahs are in a similar position with relation to their descendants and are often similarly in the shadows but must also bear the horror they feel towards their own sires and the desperation that it provokes. Many either serve their sires or seek their destruction (often both). In either case however they are the highest and most abstract masterminds of the Eternal Struggle and when they stir their descendants feel the power of their blood and beasts - and some unlucky souls may be called or hunted to regenerate their ancestors withered potency.

                          4. I understand why the modern digital surveillance state has strained some elements of plausible deniability but I think there are ways to justify it (aside from just saying “it’s the narrative conceit of the game pal, work with me here”). For one thing while the global north and first world are increasingly monitored via surveillance and intelligence efforts, that means that there’s just as much junk data in the air as their is valuable information. I think that how vampiric societies respond to cyber space should be used to show both their strengths and weaknesses - elders don’t fully understand technology but understand that it can strengthen the governments and private interests which they influence, however it also can threaten the Masquerade. So I think you handle this in a number of ways: the Bram Stoker method (also called Operation Twilight - flood the market with pop culture which contextualizes the supernatural as childish fairy tales, alongside calculated misinformation, as both a smoke screen and disinformation), the Junk Storm (have technically sufficient assets like ghouls, clan Nosferatu, and technomancers create vast amounts of junk data to clog intelligence networks), Classic Influence (keep using sway and influence within government, corporations, lobbyists, media, organized crime, pop culture, intelligence agencies etc. to squash any threats to the Masquerade and ensure that humans involved in that work have a financial motivation to pursue those interests as well), Technomancy (Have Tremere technomagi and other blood sorcerers alongside technical savant secure communication networks, obfuscate activity, and repair masquerade breaches), and Keep Friends (if groups like the Technocratic Union or Glass Walkers exist in your setting, remember that vampires have it in their best interests to have as friendly relations with those groups as they can possibly manage), and many more methods. All that said, the Masquerade has never been perfect. There has always been and always will be hunters. Some of the most effective ones will come out of governments and religious institutions. Deal with them as need be, but always keep the focus on the Capital M - Masquerade remaining in place with the general public not believing in vampires existence (or, at least, not thinking that Vlad the Night Manager is one of them…).

                          5. I keep them around and they’re key elements of the potential Fourth Sabbat Civil War. There is clan tensions, political factions, social organizations, orthodoxies and unorthodoxies, as well as the Black Hand and the Inquisition.

                          6. I do use the Family Union as a ritual which a number of Cappadocian bloodlines participated in both to mystically reunite and tap into their Progenitor’s power as well as a means of dealing with the cthonic mysteries and threats facing the World of Darkness and to create a coalition alliance for protection from the Giovanni as well as a means to undermine Giovanni monopoly over necromancy in kindred society and thus use the allies they can muster to survive inevitable Giovanni retribution. I also use the Lasombra Defection as both a political move (some lasombra were never satisfied with the Sabbat and if they had the numbers to earn certain negation rights with the Camarilla or Anarch Movements would have defected) as well as mystical (rumors of the potential existence of the Lasombra Founder would have different reactions - many wouldn’t believe it but those who would would either become truly zealous Sabbat or become disillusioned and defect to the Camarilla like classical antiheroes from The Matrix). I still maintain a large lasombra population within the Sabbat but with destruction of Monçado, the Fourth Sabbat Civil War, the defection of Giangaleazzo, & rumors brought about by the Gehenna Crusade I do see many defecting as being totally plausible.

                          7. Everyone is reacting differently. Just amongst the main vampiric sects: the Camarilla is trying to keep face while maintains the party line of ‘Mission Accomplished’ and that this is the ‘End of History’ despite the plentiful evidence to the contrary - regardless they focus on political and economic gains while ignoring the threats at every corridor as well as the rampant mystical questions, the Sabbat is being ravaged by the Fourth Sabbat Civil War, the Anarchs are reorganizing after the end of the Cold War era and the Week of Nightmares but are returning to their diligent efforts to move forward the Engine of History, while the independents and the other sects all try to survive and increase their influence while pursuing their own mysterious and secretive ends.

                          8. I run this similarly to the Blood Sympathy of Requiem, in that feelings of association between blood relations for exist and that at times powerful elders and methuselahs will stretch their limbs and try to call their blood back to them - often to feed and recover from Withering but also for gambits of the Eternal Struggle. These are relatively rare however, although they do occur now as the ancients stir across the globe.

                          9. Whether or not Melinda Galbraith was destroyed for Infernalism (but especially if she was) the Sabbat slides into the Fourth Sabbat Civil War - this is caused by longstanding tensions, the loss of certain bases of activity, and the millennium hysteria that came alongside the Week of Nightmares. The sect splintered into savage infighting. Loyalists alongside the Panders called for a return to the nights of the First Anarch Revolt and true war against the elders, Hyper-Conservatives wanted to focus on maintaining stability and the territories they already held with their Moderate allies trying to negotiate the difference, the Black Hand fell into infighting and internal purges before turning outward with a viciousness as they hunted ‘false Sabbat’, the Inquisition took a similar route as they too became a sort of paramilitary organization scouring the sect for heresy and Infernalism, while simultaneously popular leaders arose to lead personal crusades or in the case of the Prophetess of Caine, Vasantasena, the Gehenna Crusade into the Lands of the Ancients; this infighting would span the sect and shape its future as irrevocably as past civil wars.

                          10. That would make this already long post far too long.

                          11. I don’t use the Second Inquisition but I do give heightened activity and competence to mortal hunter organizations as well as having the Imbued be more active in most post-Week of Nightmares games.

                          12. I never liked the True Black Hand, to be clear. I generally just use them as a particularly influential and successful Gehenna/Ancients Cult who were able to construct a base in the Shadowlands in what they believed was the First City using heavy necromantic power. They did have great influence but have been ravaged by the Sixth Great Maelstrom, Week of Nightmares, and the consequences of Ancients Stirring; as well as the subsequent purges from groups like the Archons and Black Hand pursuing their agents. All that said they had discovered some true mysteries and relics of power, so if their secrets are discovered they could prove remarkably influential in the Eternal Struggle.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by monteparnas View Post

                            I would need some time to delve into it. Can you post the current timeline we have?
                            Copying the V5 Timeline I started making in another thread, and re-focussing it to Gehenna, you get something like the below.

                            1998
                            1) Destruction of the Tremere Antitribu. - RCT

                            1999
                            1) The Week of Nightmares begins.
                            2) Zapathasura, the Ravnos Antediluvian awakens.
                            3) The Red Star Appeared, at the culmination of the Week of Nightmares.
                            4) Zapathasura, is destroyed.

                            2000
                            1) Death of Melinda Galbraith - MCbN

                            Circa. 2000-2001
                            1) Aajav and Vasantasena work out the impersonation of Galbraith by Sikorsky and work to cover it up to ensure Sabbat unity. - BJD
                            2) Maria Sandoza may also be aware and instruct the Sabbat Inquisition to support/allow the conspiracy. - BJD

                            2001
                            1) 9/11 attacks.
                            2) De Pollonia claims partial responsibility for the 9/11 attacks. - BJD
                            3) The Red Star is officially noted by NASA.

                            2002
                            1) The Red Star is officially designated '28978' Ixion (Greek equivalent to Caine).

                            2003
                            1) Op: Iraqi Freedom begins.
                            2) Sabbat follow soldiers headed to the Middle East as part of Op: Iraqi Freedom. - BJD
                            3) Project FIRSTLIGHT is formed by the US intelligence agencies, headed by Felicity Price. - V5CG

                            2008
                            1) A SOCOM task force destroys the Prime Chantry in Vienna, destroying the Tremere Pyramid. - V5C

                            2012
                            1) Conclaves occur in Chicago and Prague, Theo Bell assassinates Hardestadt (and possibly Jan Pieterzoon). - V5C, VCG

                            2) The Brujah formally leave the Camarilla. - V5CG

                            2013
                            1) The Gehenna Crusade begins in earnest. - BJD

                            2) Queen Ann is decapitated in London, effectively ending the sterilisation of the city. - V5C

                            3) Mithras attempts a ritual to restore himself to full power as a Methuselah during the purge of the city. He is believed killed but may have simply gone underground. - FoL
                            4) Roger de Camden becomes Prince of Edinburgh and sets up the city as the headquarters of a newly revived Cult of Mithras. - FoL

                            2016
                            1) Lucita and Beckett attend the Palla Grande, having been invited by Sikorksy (still in the guise of Galbraith). - BJD
                            2) Sikorsky (still in the guise of Galbraith) is destroyed. - BJD
                            3) XXX Seraph/acting-seraphs are destroyed. - BJD
                            4) The Fourth Sabbat Civil War begins. - BJD

                            2018
                            1) Kevin Jackson and Sierra Burrace successfully negotiate the defection of a portion of the Lasombra. The first sacrifice is a Sabbat soldier named Malankov. - V5CbN
                            2) Carolina Valez is killed by the Lasombra after being forced to confess her "crimes." -V5CbN

                            3) Julian Sims arranges for the diablerie of Banu Haqim Elder Aila by the Courier. He also experiments with a special formula that will make them stronger faster. - NR

                            2019
                            1) Sophia Langtry attempts a coup against Helena Panhard with Anarch leader Torque. She is killed and her adopted childe is blood bound to Henry Arturo. - CoNY

                            2) Julia Sowinski is Embraced by Caren as part of the Lasombra defection to the Camarilla. - SoNY

                            3) Prince Lettow of Tuscon, Arizona and Julian Sims of the Banu Haqim do battle with the Second Inquisition. They successfully kill Inquisitor Samantha Donati with the help of the Courier. - NR
                            4) Jasper Knowles successfully brings a kindred, the Lampago, back from wightdom after driving dozens of others to the state to figure out a cure. He is subsequently killed by Julian Sims. - NR
                            5) Prince Lettow is Beckoned. - NR

                            8) Deputy Cecily Baine investigates the murder of Prince Samantha Merraine and determines it was her friend, Calder Wendt. - WT
                            9) The Mortician's Army attacks the Camarilla court of the Twin Cities and fails to assassinate Justicar Ian Carfalx but kill a Primogen plus several lesser vampires. They make use of a double agent named Alejandra. - WT
                            10) Calder Wendt is rejected as Prince by Ian Carfax, who appoints Cecily Bain instead. - WT

                            11) The Mausoleum is attacked by the Second Inquisition with the covert help of the Harbingers of Skulls. Many senior Giovanni are killed. Augustus Giovanni's body disappears. - CotBG

                            2020
                            1) Baron Callahan of New York is murdered by the Camarilla. - SoNY
                            2) Julia Sowinski investigates the death of Callahan and blackmails the Camarilla of New York to making her Lasombra Primogen. - SoNY

                            3) Prince Arundel of Ottawa is kidnapped by the Quebec Tremere with the help of his Senescha, Eden Corliss. Eden's childe helps rescue him and stops her coup. - PoK
                            4) Archon Adelaine attempts to eliminate Anarch leader Robert Ward by using his relationship with Arundel against him. This results in Adelaine's death and the destruction of her allies by a vengeful Prince Arundel. - PoK

                            2021
                            1) The Sabbat has completely dissolved, its upper-echelons largely eliminated, its Ancillae decimated, and the majority of its ranks made up of ravening shovelheads. The sect cedes the majority of its territory to its enemies. - V5STBH

                            2) The SI purges the majority of L.A. - L.A.
                            3) The surviving Anarchs (including Victor Temple, Nelli G, Jasper Hartwood, Annabelle, Nines Rodriguez, Gary Golden, Imalia, Mitnick, X, and Jeanette/Therese Voerman) begin rebuilding L.A. - L.A.
                            4) Eva another surviving L.A. Anarch destroys the last of the Camarilla Tremere in L.A. - L.A.
                            5) Eva also provides documents and equipment to the SI. - L.A.
                            6) Annabelle departs for New York. - L.A.

                            2028
                            1) The Promise of 1528, between the Camarilla and the Giovanni (now Hecata) expires with unknown consequences. - CotBG

                            Citation Shorthand:
                            BJD = Beckett's Jyhad Diary
                            V20C = V20 Corebook
                            MCbN = Mexico City by Night
                            RCT = Revised Clanbook Tremere
                            V5C = V5 Corebook
                            V5CG = V5 Camarilla Guide
                            V5STBH = V5 Sabbat: The Black Hand
                            V5CbN = V5 Chicago by Night
                            CotBG = Cults of the Blood Gods
                            LtSRR = Let the Streets Run Red
                            CoNY = Coteries of New York
                            SoNY = Shadows of New York
                            NR = Night Road
                            WT = Winter's Teeth
                            PoK = Parliament of Knives
                            OfB = Out for Blood
                            L.A. = L.A. by Night Actual Play
                            FoL = Fall of London


                            STV Author - Guide to the Sabbat
                            Current Project(s): Tales from the Fronts - A Guide to the Gehenna War

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Karos View Post
                              4) Archon Adelaine attempts to eliminate Anarch leader Robert Ward by using his relationship with Arundel against him. This results in Adelaine's death and the destruction of her allies by a vengeful Prince Arundel. - PoK
                              The game has multiple endings, I don't think any of them are specifically canon.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X