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How often do you use signature characters in your games?

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  • How often do you use signature characters in your games?

    Just mildly curious. One of my characters is a Brujah Anarch skeptic about Carthage and is one good terms with Beckett and Hesha Ruhudze (Sorry about the spelling) and I have in the back of my mind of creating a Lasombra character who is a childe of Eliser De Polinco who is doing what Talley is doing in Chicago. Other then that we don't use many of the other canon npc's though I'm sure we will have an encounter with Theo Bell and trying to figure out why the former Archon isn't on the Red List.


    What in the name of Set is going on here?

  • #2
    I find a way to sneak Lucita de Aragon into every game I storytell.

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    • #3
      All the time.

      Lucita is the one I use the most commonly but I also have a soft spot for Hesha.


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

      Forum Terms of Use
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      • #4
        I've never actively used any of the signature characters in my games. I've used less than five canon NPCs actively in any game that I can recall.

        When I run WoD games, I do my own local settings with my own NPCs so that they fit the needs of my game, and most of my groups over the decades have been very happy to just ignore the metaplot stuff anyway.

        Do they exist in "my" universe? Sure. Their names might get tossed around. But so might the current President's name. Doesn't mean the PCs are going to be interacting with them.

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        • #5
          Pretty frequently i guess, it can be convenient to start from a somewhat fleshed out NPC you're already familiar with from years of reading or toying with them.

          That said i all too frequently mix & match from multiple sources - my current Milwaukee/BJD chronicle being a particular salient example as the original by Night's cast crosses the path of not only Beckett & associates, but the anarchs, archons and ancients from Blood Hearts: Diablerie Britain coming to the city for many reasons (related directly and indirectly to the Book of Grave War), the Sabbat infiltrators from Chicago as allies of Parovich and Vykos crusade and a few other more specific ones that would require some explaining on my part to make sense of.

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          • #6
            I tend to avoid using them beyond the occasional name drop or set piece moment.

            Most long term players have their own plans in game and thus adding a signature character carries enough story baggage that it functions as a disruption rather than an enhancement. Sure having Beckett show up is cool, but when the entire coterie is a bunch of bankers or political fixers, everyone starts worrying about what mystical Mcguffin is going to derail their plans.

            Conversely using signature characters with newbies is pointless because they don't know enough to be impressed. Obviously having premade NPCs can be useful for throwing something together quickly, but none of the new players will get the references which make the characters memorable, even if they are only driving a cab in Santa Monica.

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            • #7
              Rarely. Even then while I might keep a name I tend to alter NPCs fairly extensively.

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              • #8
                Never. While I find some of the signature characters interesting, they're just too weighed down with Metaplot to be useful to me. So they just don't exist in my chronicles.

                Now if I set a chronicle where there's been a By Night book and I have it, I'll cannibalize it in creating my own version of the city. So I'll use a lot of the NPC names and concepts there (I've learned from bitter experience to never use their game stats, they just don't make sense). But those NPCs aren't signature characters. It's the same thing with those NPCs who aren't in the By Night books, but crop up in books like the original Clanbooks, World of Darkness, or adventure scenarios. Those tend to be the kind of characters the PCs would know by name - like the Justicars or influential clan leaders - but who wouldn't interact with them. So it's easier for me as ST to default to those names rather than make something up on my own on the fly if it just so happens a PC asks me about them.

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                • #9
                  In addition to Signature characters, I ALWAYS use the vampires of Chicago and Gary.

                  They are THE iconic NPCs to me.

                  OPP forever earned my gratitude when they brought them back.


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

                  Forum Terms of Use
                  the Contact Us link.

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                  • #10
                    How?

                    Unless you only play in Chicago (and then why would you limit yourself like that?), it would feel really weird for them to be showing up elsewhere; esp, if they're always showing up in all the games. Playing in Philly? Chicago NPCs are going to come by. Playing in Madrid? Yep there's going to be a reason for some of them to cross an ocean. Playing in Oslo? Apparently that's the same as Gary to the Chicago NPCs in terms of how involved they are.

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                    • #11
                      Never. The majority of them are way too powerful or just batshit crazy to fit into my chronicles anyway and the places I set mine don't have any Signature Characters anyway.

                      Don't think I've ever played in someone elses game thats featured them either.

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                      • #12
                        I don't recall ever having used them, or come across them in campaigns I've played in.

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                        • #13
                          Never. I build my own settings from the ground up; typically with dozens of original NPCs.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                            How?

                            Unless you only play in Chicago (and then why would you limit yourself like that?), it would feel really weird for them to be showing up elsewhere; esp, if they're always showing up in all the games. Playing in Philly? Chicago NPCs are going to come by. Playing in Madrid? Yep there's going to be a reason for some of them to cross an ocean. Playing in Oslo? Apparently that's the same as Gary to the Chicago NPCs in terms of how involved they are.
                            Generally, I play in Chicago and Gary. I also happily just rename the chaarcters and use their stats as well as personality.

                            Tampa, Florida?

                            3000 year old Brujah philosopher named Archimedes.


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

                            Forum Terms of Use
                            the Contact Us link.

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                            • #15
                              I guess... it just seems so limiting to have this tool to make countless vampire NPCs, and then just recycle the same group over and over with some light reskinning if you can't use them as-is.

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