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  • #31
    Obviously the writer was much more of a Belisarius fanboy.
    Yes, perhaps he was too inspired by the historical figure, hahaha...


    his whole reason to be cited in the first place is being the recurrent infernalist in BJD's plotline, truth be told.
    I also somehow think he's very hot (please don't judge me), lol! So that's another reason, but still he is basically discarded.

    Anyway, here goes a quick sketch of a fixed sheet for something of a springboard:
    It's certainly much better than the original, I'd say I'd raise his Manipulation a bit, give him some Occultism and perhaps raise his Presence to 5, but it's MUCH BETTER as it is than the original from Constantinople By Night, anyway.

    Is it? I dare say it's his final death that is too convenient, 4th gens don't usually get neatly destroyed by decree, even if the one calling the Wild Hunt is another 4th gen....
    From one perspective it is in fact too convenient (but still not as much as Hardestadt being killed by a single shotgun shot from Theo Bell or Jalan Aajav dying in a plane crash or even Karsh being defeated by Xaviar and Theo Bell LOL), at the same time though, it's one of the main points in the original story from CbN. Antonius destruction acted as a catalyst for the destruction of the Dream, by making the guilty Dracon leave the city and Michael to fall deeper in his delusions of divinity. So, all in all, convenient or not it has great significance to the story, as the story would be completely different in the absence of this fact.

    True, Khay'tal might not fit any particular element of the Trinity, but as "snake in paradise" of the Dream, the crucible of virtue tempered in the fires of temptation, i'd say he would be quite appropriate a character to involve itself in any kind of twisted return of Michael's work.
    Aye, the "snake in paradise" has its importance, as does Dimities, by the way.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Herr Meister View Post

      Yes, perhaps he was too inspired by the historical figure, hahaha...
      Well, he is considered one of history's greatest generals, so justified.


      Originally posted by Herr Meister View Post
      I also somehow think he's very hot (please don't judge me), lol! So that's another reason, but still he is basically discarded.
      Fair, no kinkshaming.


      Originally posted by Herr Meister View Post
      It's certainly much better than the original, I'd say I'd raise his Manipulation a bit, give him some Occultism and perhaps raise his Presence to 5, but it's MUCH BETTER as it is than the original from Constantinople By Night, anyway.
      Well, the point was balancing him a bit with the other stated out 5th gens in the book (though i did forget to check Gesu, bummer) than anything really finished, go for whatever you prefer.

      That said, i do like the idea of misguided "mystics" and cult leaders that are far more grounded in a combination of theology, philosophy, folk wisdom, sheer power of personality than any real understanding of the kind of esoteric forces they might end up dealing with. Michael's own cult is powered by oodles of that, truth be told.

      [Yes, Michael has awesome levels of Hearth wisdom & Occult both. Gesu, of similar influence in his own branches of the church and cults, not so much]

      Also really reccomend this, for a great reference into deep dives into the philosophic, spiritual & theological with little to no whiff of the occult/supernatural to the drama and disputes involved.


      Originally posted by Herr Meister View Post
      From one perspective it is in fact too convenient (but still not as much as Hardestadt being killed by a single shotgun shot from Theo Bell or Jalan Aajav dying in a plane crash or even Karsh being defeated by Xaviar and Theo Bell LOL),
      Hardestadt is an overated blowhard. Also, Dragonsbreath rounds with Ward against Vampires, never leave the coffin without them.

      (Alnd well, a plane crash could be quite problematic even for Jalan Aajav if it happened during daylight hours - him doing a long flight where he might be vulnerable to that, now that's another story....)


      Originally posted by Herr Meister View Post
      at the same time though, it's one of the main points in the original story from CbN. Antonius destruction acted as a catalyst for the destruction of the Dream, by making the guilty Dracon leave the city and Michael to fall deeper in his delusions of divinity. So, all in all, convenient or not it has great significance to the story, as the story would be completely different in the absence of this fact.
      Too true that, the whole "lost love" and general malaise dynamic resulting from Antonius' destruction runs counter to Mahatma's continuous passive-agressive manipulations and shenanigans against the byzantines.


      Originally posted by Herr Meister View Post
      Aye, the "snake in paradise" has its importance, as does Dimities, by the way.
      Oh yeah, Dimities. either of them can add much to the equation, both, either at cross purposes or working together.... oh boy.

      As an aside, DA's portrayal of the Inconnu is just utterly ridiculous - in CbN it's fine and acceptable because we learn of them through Dimities, so everything could be an elaborate morass of conspiratory demented nonsense that exists only in his broken mind and soul.

      But trying to take that at face value, as other writers seem to do in later books, that's patently absurd as that particular take fits with nothing before and after, the group has a whole different focus - it sounds much more like some cabal or faction of the Tal'Mahe'Ra/Manus Nigrum than anything.


      [Not to mention Inconnu comes from french, not latin, what the hell were those people smoking...]
      Last edited by Baaldam; 05-16-2022, 12:02 PM.

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      • #33
        Well, the point was balancing him a bit with the other stated out 5th gens in the book (though i did forget to check Gesu, bummer) than anything really finished, go for whatever you prefer.
        Something that needs to be mentioned, though, is the fact that the perceived level of kindred power varies A LOT depending on the book you read, but as you mentioned, Gesu is much younger than Caius, but still has much better traits.


        But trying to take that at face value, as other writers seem to do in later books, that's patently absurd as that particular take fits with nothing before and after, the group has a whole different focus - it sounds much more like some cabal or faction of the Tal'Mahe'Ra/Manus Nigrum than anything.


        [Not to mention Inconnu comes from french, not latin, what the hell were those people smoking...]
        This is so true, I never liked how the Inconnu was portrayed in CbN (nor could I understand why such an elder sect from Rome would have a French name for the matter...lol). In some of the chronicles I ran I made the so called Inconnu one of the arms of the Manus Nigrum/Tal'Mahe'Ra, so that it would make more sense. I still think it would make them much more coherent and interesting. While we could say only the Twelve were converted through Saulot and then abandoned their old allegiances to form a new cult, so to speak, dedicated to finding Golconda (and killing Methuselah around the world from the safety of their castle that is protected by an earthbound demon lol). I think it definitely works better this way.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Herr Meister View Post

          Something that needs to be mentioned, though, is the fact that the perceived level of kindred power varies A LOT depending on the book you read, but as you mentioned, Gesu is much younger than Caius, but still has much better traits.
          Indeed it can vary sometimes wildly even within the same book, between different books much more so.
          That said, i kind of give Gesu a pass in that he's clearly meant to be a special snowflake prodigy kind of figure.
          Possibly a kind of "accursed chosen one" if the matter of the Eldest's warning serves as indicator.

          As an aside i can perfectly see him surviving and relocating his cult within the russian orthodox church or any of the many european countries influenced by byzantine culture, what could make him into another potential factor to account for into this drama.


          Originally posted by Herr Meister View Post
          This is so true, I never liked how the Inconnu was portrayed in CbN (nor could I understand why such an elder sect from Rome would have a French name for the matter...lol). In some of the chronicles I ran I made the so called Inconnu one of the arms of the Manus Nigrum/Tal'Mahe'Ra, so that it would make more sense. I still think it would make them much more coherent and interesting. While we could say only the Twelve were converted through Saulot and then abandoned their old allegiances to form a new cult, so to speak, dedicated to finding Golconda (and killing Methuselah around the world from the safety of their castle that is protected by an earthbound demon lol). I think it definitely works better this way.
          It all depends on one's game to be fair. A group of roman remnants could play out similar or quite differently from the Manus Nigrum/Tal'Mahe'Ra, Amici Noctis and other kindred secret societies depending on what elements one wants to focus on and become an interesting antagonist (or patron) on its own.

          What galls at me is some writer trying to tack on such an idea into an already existing faction - and one that makes no flipping sense whatsoever to connect in such a way, for that matter. Anyway, Gregorius forsaking them and going on its own or still being a part of the group (even if a somewhat resentful one) can affect one's game in some quite different ways.

          All of that said, in the context of CobN the "roman Inconnu" is quite simple an issue to deal with, as Dimities is the only hook to that idea in the whole book, meaning a ST could decide, if he has no interest in the idea of a "ugly secret past of the Inconnu" (that makes no sense whatsoever) the sect as described there exists only within his painfully fractured mind.

          [What can be scary aplenty on its own, as even by the book he has Auspex 4, Dementation 6, Dominate 3, Obfuscate 3, Presence 3 - he could pretty much fabricate hyper-complex split personalities representing his "mentors" from a mix of delirium, facts gathered from visions, gleaned thoughts and more (cobweb, *cough*, *cough*), and then "upload" those personas into any kindred 6th gen or weaker as their personalities, diablerie ghosts or whatever one wants them to believe]
          Last edited by Baaldam; 05-16-2022, 07:33 PM.

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          • #35
            That said, i kind of give Gesu a pass in that he's clearly meant to be a special snowflake prodigy kind of figure.
            Possibly a kind of "accursed chosen one" if the matter of the Eldest's warning serves as indicator.
            In fact, I would go as far as buff his traits to be honest. My main problem is the fact that the others are balanced somewhat poorly in the book and between "too weak" or "too strong" I almost always opt for the latter. I'm very used to the idea of crossovers, since I started storytelling (many years in the past hahaha...), so I've never been fond of the idea of having an important Cainite character being killed with a single werewolf or mage attack lol, so this "upbringing" kind of explains my preferences, so to speak. You see, Melinda Galbraith is younger than Caius, but look at the huge difference between their traits! Between these choices, I would almost always opt for Melinda's approach.

            It all depends on one's game to be fair. A group of roman remnants could play out similar or quite differently from the Manus Nigrum/Tal'Mahe'Ra, Amici Noctis and other kindred secret societies depending on what elements one wants to focus on and become an interesting antagonist (or patron) on its own.
            Most certainly, it depends on the game/story. I don't see a problem with the idea of Roman kindreds like this one incarnation of the Inconnu, I was joking more because of consistency and the fact that Inconnu (being a French name) isn't perhaps the best choice of name for an old Roman cainite's secret society. But the "secret kindred society" one is going to use in a chronicle can vary a lot on what the story needs, etc.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Herr Meister View Post

              In fact, I would go as far as buff his traits to be honest. My main problem is the fact that the others are balanced somewhat poorly in the book and between "too weak" or "too strong" I almost always opt for the latter. I'm very used to the idea of crossovers, since I started storytelling (many years in the past hahaha...), so I've never been fond of the idea of having an important Cainite character being killed with a single werewolf or mage attack lol, so this "upbringing" kind of explains my preferences, so to speak. You see, Melinda Galbraith is younger than Caius, but look at the huge difference between their traits! Between these choices, I would almost always opt for Melinda's approach.
              Well, Gesu's stats are quite fine imho for the period CoBN and Bitter Crusade are set at, between 1194-1230, quite respectable for a 500 year old kindred. It's just that:

              - He's clearly not a methuselah, that is what most people kind of expect when they see "5th generation" in a sheet.
              - Definitely not made with combat in mind.

              But he's good - someone with the same numbers swapped into a different build could be quite the combat monster among other things.


              About Galbraith, well, she's a Masquerade NPC (from Chaos Factor that is notoriously gonzo, to boot), VtDA/DA:V NPCs were clearly made with a different scale in mind, possibly in part to make less of overpowering threats for neonate PCs.

              Children of Night has some character creation guidelines that while not perfect can work as a basis to adjust and tweak them that is mostly effective across multiple editions.


              Originally posted by Herr Meister View Post
              Most certainly, it depends on the game/story. I don't see a problem with the idea of Roman kindreds like this one incarnation of the Inconnu, I was joking more because of consistency and the fact that Inconnu (being a French name) isn't perhaps the best choice of name for an old Roman cainite's secret society. But the "secret kindred society" one is going to use in a chronicle can vary a lot on what the story needs, etc.
              More importantly, do you think of using Dimities in your game and if so, how much of a role would "the romans" (kind of temped to call them Incognito) have or not in the drama of the return of the Trinity.
              Last edited by Baaldam; 05-17-2022, 11:43 AM.

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              • #37
                Well, Gesu's stats are quite fine imho for the period CoBN and Bitter Crusade are set at, between 1194-1230, quite respectable for a 500 year old kindred. It's just that:
                I wouldn't say they're bad, but for me his stats are just decent, not perfect, but still the thought that an important 5th generation kindred can be easily killed with a single attack gives me anxiety attacks lol

                - He's clearly not a methuselah, that is what most people kind of expect when they see "5th generation" in a sheet.
                Certainly this influences the observer a lot.

                VtDA/DA:V NPCs were clearly made with a different scale in mind, possibly in part to make less of overpowering threats for neonate PCs.
                Well, I would most likely disagree on principle, Dark Ages is usually a much more threatening and combat heavy setting than the modern age. The thing is that the level of power of cainites varies WILDLY between different books, even when talking about the same period, like Dark Ages. Dark Ages France, for instance, have characters that would put even Galbraith to shame. Also, Chaos Factor is a crossover, usually books with that in mind have more powerful characters (Although the aforementioned Dark Ages France doesn't fit this description, but it's usually the case, e.g. Chaos Factor, Dark Alliance Vancouver, Rage Across Russia, etc). What gives me anxiety attacks in his character sheet is mainly because he hasn't a single dot in Fortitude (unlike his brother Symeon), i.e. he can be easily destroyed with a single attack.

                More importantly, do you think of using Dimities in your game and if so, how much of a role would "the romans" (kind of temped to call them Incognito) have or not in the drama of the return of the Trinity.
                Incognito is absolutely more fitting than Inconnu lol. Well, I still need to decide, but if I really use him, I'd probably make him a spy and "agent of chaos" working for a secret society with the aim of undermining the Triumvirate power by attempting to plunge Michael/Mariah deeper in his/her own insanity. That's why I mentioned the Manus Nigrum before, as it's one of their goals, to weaken and sow chaos in cainite society in order to undermine their power, also the Triumvirate would fit perfectly in the Tal'Mahe'Ra idea of "cainite abuse" that they say they fight against. But I stll need to think a lot about it, as with the Triunvirate reformed and "in order", there would be fewer avenues to cainites like Khay'tal or Dimities to influence Michael.



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                • #38
                  [QUOTE=Baaldam;n1481209]

                  True, plenty of wars in the late middle ages and renaissance for one to fit a "dark ages equivalent" into. But yeah, Dylan is not a great fit anyway, his whole reason to be cited in the first place is being the recurrent infernalist in BJD's plotline, truth be told. By that logic any other major infernalist NPC might do.


                  Originally posted by Herr Meister View Post
                  Yes, by changing the story a bit (By the way, his destruction always felt a bit too "weird" or "convenient" to me, so to speak), Caius is a great candidate indeed. I would add that I agree that his given stats are terribly underwhelming (as were the original for Marcus Verus, as you mentioned, V20 kind of fixed it, though), so underwhelming it almost sound as if it was made on purpose lol, but that's very easy to fix. I think he possesses the qualities to fill the role and as obsessed as he was about Michael, he is certainly better than the other alternatives at least.

                  Obviously the writer was much more of a Belisarius fanboy.

                  Anyway, here goes a quick sketch of a fixed sheet for something of a springboard:



                  Did some comparison to Belisarius for reference, tweaked a dot or two after looking into Alexia. More of a quick-&-dirty starting point than anything definite.

                  ‚Äč


                  Is it? I dare say it's his final death that is too convenient, 4th gens don't usually get neatly destroyed by decree, even if the one calling the Wild Hunt is another 4th gen....



                  True, Khay'tal might not fit any particular element of the Trinity, but as "snake in paradise" of the Dream, the crucible of virtue tempered in the fires of temptation, i'd say he would be quite appropriate a character to involve itself in any kind of twisted return of Michael's work.
                  Wasn't Khayt'al diablerized his childe a scant few decades after the 4th crusade for messing up so badly and weakening their clan's standing?


                  What in the name of Set is going on here?

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                  • #39
                    [QUOTE=Lysander;n1481384]
                    Originally posted by Baaldam View Post

                    True, plenty of wars in the late middle ages and renaissance for one to fit a "dark ages equivalent" into. But yeah, Dylan is not a great fit anyway, his whole reason to be cited in the first place is being the recurrent infernalist in BJD's plotline, truth be told. By that logic any other major infernalist NPC might do.




                    Wasn't Khayt'al diablerized his childe a scant few decades after the 4th crusade for messing up so badly and weakening their clan's standing?

                    Is it in the Dark Ages Setite Novel? Unfortunately I didn't read the DA Setite novel, I couldn't bring myself to care about the protagonist, so if it's there it explains what you said, as I don't remember reading about his destruction.

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                    • #40
                      I remember reading it in Khayt'al write up in Constaninople By Night. In the destiny section, it mentions that he is betrayed by his childe and got consumed for his mistakes.


                      What in the name of Set is going on here?

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Lysander View Post
                        I remember reading it in Khayt'al write up in Constaninople By Night. In the destiny section, it mentions that he is betrayed by his childe and got consumed for his mistakes.


                        True, just saw here on the book, for some reason I didn't remember it, I've never been a fan of the character tbh, but it's funny that while he wanted to influence Michael, he ended up being the one influenced by the Methuselah...

                        PS: For some reason I couldn't upload the photo from my computer and had to use a link, is there an explanation for that?
                        Last edited by Herr Meister; 05-18-2022, 04:53 PM.

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                        • #42
                          While true, during the sacking of Constantinople in 1204, Khay'tall was ambushed by his favorite childe, Sarrasine, who drained his corporeal form of all its vitae in an attempt of diablerie.
                          But Khay'tall, who expected something like that, had his own heart previously removed via Serpentis and placed in a scarab amulet created by Gregorius Lakeritos.
                          The amulet eventually came into the possession of the Setite Andreas Aegyptus/Ankhesenaten ("He-Who-Lives-For-The-Sun-God"... what a strange name for a Settite...) who delivered the amulet to the Red Temple of Thebes.
                          Okay, most of his clan regarded him as a heretic, thats true, but nothing further was described, and by the Revised Clanbook, tho' was a Founding Temple, the Red Temple, located in Thebes within modern Luxor, now largely deserted...
                          Who knows, that amulet and the essence of Khay"tall potentially could be still there or "survived" to the modern day
                          And given Michael fondnes of that Snake, its not out of the realm of possibility, he would eventually try to find it to "resurrect" the Snake of the Garden
                          Actually, both Michael and Mary would have a good reason; Mihael the same reason he had in the first place when accepted him in his city, and Mary for the exact reason he did with that opportunity, dragging down the Dream to Hell...
                          Anyhow would be a really neat little story idea
                          Last edited by Shadeprowler; 05-19-2022, 02:30 AM.

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Shadeprowler View Post
                            While true, during the sacking of Constantinople in 1204, Khay'tall was ambushed by his favorite childe, Sarrasine, who drained his corporeal form of all its vitae in an attempt of diablerie.
                            But Khay'tall, who expected something like that, had his own heart previously removed via Serpentis and placed in a scarab amulet created by Gregorius Lakeritos.
                            The amulet eventually came into the possession of the Setite Andreas Aegyptus/Ankhesenaten ("He-Who-Lives-For-The-Sun-God"... what a strange name for a Settite...) who delivered the amulet to the Red Temple of Thebes.
                            Okay, most of his clan regarded him as a heretic, thats true, but nothing further was described, and by the Revised Clanbook, tho' was a Founding Temple, the Red Temple, located in Thebes within modern Luxor, now largely deserted...
                            Who knows, that amulet and the essence of Khay"tall potentially could be still there or "survived" to the modern day
                            And given Michael fondnes of that Snake, its not out of the realm of possibility, he would eventually try to find it to "resurrect" the Snake of the Garden
                            Actually, both Michael and Mary would have a good reason; Mihael the same reason he had in the first place when accepted him in his city, and Mary for the exact reason he did with that opportunity, dragging down the Dream to Hell...
                            Anyhow would be a really neat little story idea

                            Now that you mentioned, you made it look more interesting. Perhaps I can find a use for him, that looks like a very interesting idea,I love this kind of story that defy people's normal assumptions of cainites.

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Shadeprowler View Post
                              While true, during the sacking of Constantinople in 1204, Khay'tall was ambushed by his favorite childe, Sarrasine, who drained his corporeal form of all its vitae in an attempt of diablerie.
                              But Khay'tall, who expected something like that, had his own heart previously removed via Serpentis and placed in a scarab amulet created by Gregorius Lakeritos.
                              The amulet eventually came into the possession of the Setite Andreas Aegyptus/Ankhesenaten ("He-Who-Lives-For-The-Sun-God"... what a strange name for a Settite...) who delivered the amulet to the Red Temple of Thebes.
                              Okay, most of his clan regarded him as a heretic, thats true, but nothing further was described, and by the Revised Clanbook, tho' was a Founding Temple, the Red Temple, located in Thebes within modern Luxor, now largely deserted...
                              Who knows, that amulet and the essence of Khay"tall potentially could be still there or "survived" to the modern day
                              And given Michael fondnes of that Snake, its not out of the realm of possibility, he would eventually try to find it to "resurrect" the Snake of the Garden
                              Actually, both Michael and Mary would have a good reason; Mihael the same reason he had in the first place when accepted him in his city, and Mary for the exact reason he did with that opportunity, dragging down the Dream to Hell...
                              Anyhow would be a really neat little story idea
                              I had not thought of Khay'tall, but if he is still around or waiting to be brought back from torpor, that diablerie attempt by Sarrasine might arguably fit Michael's stated criteria of a Kindred who was killed and brought back. That he has a history with Michael makes him all the better as a choice for Michael's third.

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Lysander View Post
                                Originally posted by Baaldam View Post

                                True, plenty of wars in the late middle ages and renaissance for one to fit a "dark ages equivalent" into. But yeah, Dylan is not a great fit anyway, his whole reason to be cited in the first place is being the recurrent infernalist in BJD's plotline, truth be told. By that logic any other major infernalist NPC might do.


                                Wasn't Khayt'all diablerized his childe a scant few decades after the 4th crusade for messing up so badly and weakening their clan's standing?

                                Indeed, that was cited as his canon fate in his footnote in CoBN, but i'm pretty sure later books revised that and mention how he came up with some workarounds to survive Sarrasine's betrayal. Some bits and possible book sources are cited in his wiki write-up (that seems to posit him as a philosophical forerunner of the Ministry, among other things).

                                As an aside, i suspect Khay'tall's return might have been inspired by his appearance in modern times as a VtES card. Not blaming the writer, whoever it is, for that, i also love to pull some random from them for plotlines with which to monkeywrench lore or metaplot expectations.


                                [Speaking of which, check out the many versions of Sarrasine in VtES at the end of his write-up. One of these things is not like the other]
                                Last edited by Baaldam; 05-19-2022, 08:23 AM.

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