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How would you have the Beckoning and Gehenna War end?

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  • How would you have the Beckoning and Gehenna War end?

    Let's say you're in charge of the game development, and it is decided that it is time for the Beckoning and Gehenna War to end. A series of books is to be published about the ending and the aftermath, with options for players to assume key roles. What would you do in that job?

  • #2
    I think either a bang or a whimper. Like a big couple of years with great events, a bit like Beckett's Jyhad Diaries. Which of course would be prime chronicle material. Happening in thematically significant places for Vampire Masquerade, and some that is like "do it in your town", cause one person can't define all the important places a global even should occur for other people like that I think without error. So, Vampire Bloodlines in overdrive kind of (not meaning combat crazy), just weird things taking a city or place by storm.

    Quite a few of them, and at least one happening in the "Cradle of Civilization", in a very role-play heavy debate and going back-and-forth with powerful creatures, some of unknown nature, about what should be done regarding some questions of clan, of the Curse, of the purpose of keeping on, of letting the Beast be, and if holding Humanity is worth it. And that will decide if some Clans will rise, or if they will fall. Alongside a lot of elder and even older fellows. Of course, big players would be involved, like old characters and sects, but the Gehenna War was really heavy on them. It is almost as if the entire region calls to the Cainites for blood, not like an elder or Caine, just the Curse of the First and Second City, the curse of the eternal struggle between oneself and every other brother and sister, father and child in Kindredom. Calling to them in these blood-soaked sands of times long past.

    Other stories in cities would have a more Fall of London vibe I think, some trying only to keep the SI away from it, while everything goes to shit. But most cases are like strong feelings of dread, of unreal memories and feelings, like ancients calling and talking to their long distanced childer and grandnephews. And the way to shut them down is to either sacrifice blood to the blood gods, attain harmony and peace with Humanity and other Kindred, give a powerful offering, or maybe let it all end... And the city just up and has all its Kindred devoured, empty, with very little traces of what happened left, and a big gaping hole of psychic clues and leftovers. In the end, very little is given in terms of hard answers in the metaplot besides optional content for the ST to choose.

    I think it wouldn't be crazy to imagine the conflicts ending with the elders mostly going full tabula rasa, either getting erased and no one knowing where they at, very few returning really modern Lestat style, withered and a bit insane, with little to no memory of what the hell called, and what the hell happened. So they may even try to return to their normal power games, but they are really afraid, paranoid and fragile, more than ever before, because they were used, or simply victim of something else, and were permitted to go back. The Beckoning ends, the Gehenna War zones over the world are gone, with its participants scattering back to their places. The Sabbat grow disillusioned and cracks into a growing cult of hard believers hunting down these places still, for now there is proof of their cause; others would just become cults in Anarch or independent cities, or left all of that behind, maybe open a lot of monasteries where they just study and meditate in peace.
    Anarchs become an even crazier and hot pot of clans, cultures, cults, backgrounds and people. A lot of knowledge was lost, and there is a bunch to discover, treasure hunts after the stashes of lost elders is huge, and both Camarilla and Anarchs want in. All during this, the Camarilla becomes even less secular, embracing a bit of pride for its old blood gods, but they are very limiting to what should and shouldn't be worshipped, calling a lot of Anarchs heretics or heathens.

    But honestly I'm not that eager for this ongoing situation to end in the metaplot.


    Strange... When coincidence seems too convenient, I prefer to call it fate.

    -Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain d=

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    • #3
      It's harder than it looks.

      The easiest, and also the laziest, way would be to simply do a soft-retcon similar to the one performed by v5 after the initial resistance from fans to accept the changes presented (or maybe the writers didn't realize/cared at the time they were developing the project all the implications of the added changes). For example, Chicago full of elders even after the CB, v5 monster manual stating Gehenna isn't no longer/never was restricted to the middle east, the Tremere Methuselahs in Vienna returning even after being described as all dead except one in torpor beneath a million tons of concrete by out-of-universe text.



      If such liberties were taken, I would use the Gehenna end to advance my Doylist goal: give the player back the choice of what kind of game they want to play: Play as Elders, play as vampires who don't whine night after night about their lost humanity, play as a member of a strong, all-encompassing and global Faction (whether it be Camarilla, Sabbat, Independent and would even develop an Anarch that can be taken seriously). I would give vampires power, maybe even with an extra buff to compensate for their anemia during v5. Then it would come the Watsonian explanation.


      In other words, I would be a lazy writer. But I don't think there's any other way to make the Beckoning and Gehenna war to end. I were to follow the community's lead, I would have to take into account all the lore developed in v5 and from there, reflect on what would follow logically speaking.

      This would be extremely difficult (for me). The end of Gehenna War, to be taken seriously, would have resulted in the death of a zillion elders, which goes against my ideal of providing elders for players to play as one and against. The same thing can be said about the Sabbat, Pyramid and Shreknet. Things simply returning to the way they were before would downgrade the Gehenna war to the level of simple temporary inconvenience.

      The biggest headache would be the SI. If currently in v5 they're already causing some head scratching over their ever-changing threat levels, making vampires win the Gehenna War against the organization that destroyed the secret lair containing the most powerful bloodmages in existence and which, according to the SI supplement, still "doesn't used their most powerful weapons (yet)" would provoke even more head scratching. My writing would light up neon signs to how unlikely the situation is.

      Furthermore, Gehenna is theoretically the resolution (perhaps cyclical) of the Antediluvians vs. Antediluvians. Ending Gehenna with nothing changing either in the mortal world or in the vampire world would be anticlimactic, but inevitable to maintain the status quo considering that OWOD is a dark reflection of our world and not a completely different world. Still, as I said, anticlimactic.

      However, having an antediluvian die like they did with Augustos Giovanni (killed by SI, I shit you not...) would ALSO be anticlimactic.

      Really, it's something that would need some thinking time to untie at least some of the knots. Perhaps the most logical choice (although I don't like it) to solve Gehenna War and Beckoning would be to go Call of Cthulu style and freeze the setting in time?

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      • #4
        I happened to play Gehenna on two occasions, after long campaigns. Partly taking up some scenarios of Gehenna.
        And it has always been a crescendo of tension, terror, problems in general which culminated with the apocalyptic event of the rise of the antediluvians and with the collapse of human society which is divided into fiefs and kingdoms by the most powerful Methuselahs and many of the Antediluvians who are more instinctive and non-sentient than classic mindmasters. They are simply too strong, too abstract to still have any interest in the world.
        In cities, vampire domains can present themselves in various ways, based on the rulers who dominate them or, according to the actions of the players' characters.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Querion View Post
          I happened to play Gehenna on two occasions, after long campaigns. Partly taking up some scenarios of Gehenna.
          And it has always been a crescendo of tension, terror, problems in general which culminated with the apocalyptic event of the rise of the antediluvians and with the collapse of human society which is divided into fiefs and kingdoms by the most powerful Methuselahs and many of the Antediluvians who are more instinctive and non-sentient than classic mindmasters. They are simply too strong, too abstract to still have any interest in the world.
          In cities, vampire domains can present themselves in various ways, based on the rulers who dominate them or, according to the actions of the players' characters.
          This isn't about Gehenna, it's about the Gehenna War, a massively toned-down event compared to the end of the original vampire game.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by CajunKhan View Post

            This isn't about Gehenna, it's about the Gehenna War, a massively toned-down event compared to the end of the original vampire game.
            I don't quite understand your answer, sorry.
            If the point is to close Gehenna and return to the previous status quo, you see me totally against it. It simply should be such a large and important event that it still marks the spot, equally it should affect the various races of the world of darkness and mortals.
            You cannot, in my opinion, create such an event and then make it burst in a soap bubble. I don't like it and I won't.
            And in fact, I don't really like the status quo created in V5 where we see that White Wolf doesn't quite know how to proceed.

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            • #7
              I had it cut short by the second inquisition succesfully killing on of the 3rd and the return of Enoch. Enoch is now secretly running the Sabbat in preparation to nuatralize tzmisce

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Querion View Post

                I don't quite understand your answer, sorry.
                If the point is to close Gehenna and return to the previous status quo, you see me totally against it. It simply should be such a large and important event that it still marks the spot, equally it should affect the various races of the world of darkness and mortals.
                You cannot, in my opinion, create such an event and then make it burst in a soap bubble. I don't like it and I won't.
                And in fact, I don't really like the status quo created in V5 where we see that White Wolf doesn't quite know how to proceed.
                ...............................Okay, either you are not getting this, or I am not getting this. This is not about the Gehenna event that ended the original version of VTM. This is about the current Beckoning and "Gehenna War", a V5 war in which most elders have gone to the middle east to be a part of. Is your response intended to be about the original Gehenna event, or the current edition Beckoning/Gehenna War.

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                • #9
                  In charge of game development?
                  It was all chimistry. The week of nightmares never ended.

                  Serious though, If I want to do right by shareholders, fans, my personal taste ETC, I'll just retcon the entire metaplot away. If I HAVE to humour things as they are...

                  Gehenna is always round the corner for me. The end has been nigh since before man worked out writing. However, I'd be happy to use whatever's going on to launch a big Baali resurgence or to go wild with ur-shulgi.


                  Throw me/White wolf some money with Quietus: Drug Lord, Poison King
                  There's more coming soon. Pay what ya want.

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                  • #10
                    Antediluvians, elders and methusaleah do not want to destroy the world only dominate it and some are more interested in transcendence.

                    The few wackos who actually want to dominate the world get ganged upon by the majority who does not.

                    That does not mean conflict does not exist, it does as the consecuence of power plays but there is no global apocalypsis end of the world scenario programed to happen day X at 3:00 AM


                    https://www.deviantart.com/cicerondixit/gallery

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                    • #11
                      I'd end the series in a simple, horrifying matter. More then 90% of all kindred and Cainite have been executed by the SI, and nearly all remaining vampires have been forced into torpor.

                      Years later, the new edition v6 would released...


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                      • #12
                        I agree that any kind of resolution should be enough of a lore shakeup to be set at the beginning of the next edition. This is mine.

                        The War ends with a whimper. Whether it was a true Jyhad fought to a standstill or nothing more than the Antediluvians cannibalizing their oldest progeny in an ancient and cyclical ritual, when the Antediluvians run out of Methuselahs old enough and blood-potent enough to bother eating, they simply sire the next generation of sacrifices and move on. Some may grant their childer a bit of tutoring before going back to sleep. It doesn't matter. The doings of third and fourth generation vampires aren't for players to try to interfere with.

                        The Tal'mahe'ra had it half right: the ancients do limit the depredations of their children. They simply do it themselves, to feed themselves, and they've done it since humanity started walking upright without the need for some cult of misguided Judases trying to kiss ass to save their own.

                        The Second Inquisition winds down as the Elders who were manipulating its various tendrils are Beckoned away and devoured by their sires. Other Cainites inevitably fill the power vacuum. The first thing the Inquisitors notice is that they're chasing a lot of false leads lately. Then their funding dries up. Then their agencies have new heads or are shut down. The crimes that the Inquisition committed were too sensitive to see the light of day in courts, but the Inquisitors have a tendency to disappear in the coming years. Some are spared and made ghouls or receive the Embrace. The offices are cleared out, the files are warehoused, and no head of state will ever have the necessary security clearance to be shown their own government's torture chambers.

                        As the smoke from these two fires begins to clear, the descendants of Caine find themselves with another matter to settle: that the elders of the Sabbat fed its young into the maws of the Ancients, and the elders of the Camarilla threw its marginalized out into the streets in the hope that the Inquisition would kill them and be satisfied. The Anarch Revolt is back on, and this time the High Clans have too many enemies and too few low generation string pullers.

                        With the sects discredited and the hidden leaders who kept them connected with vaulderie, mental domination, and prestation all dead or disappeared, the status quo is what it was in five hundred years ago. Politics are local. the Prince is the highest law in the land. Ttreaties between cities are simple non-aggression pacts that go subtly broken when one can get away with it. The subjects are revolting. The Inquisition and the Ancients are sleeping. For now.
                        Last edited by Reasor; 06-27-2022, 09:06 PM.

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                        • #13
                          I'd give the Beckoning et all more time just so that Ancilla princes like KJ start becoming common, and things seem to stabilize in the Camarilla. Until the Beckoning ramps up, over a very short period of time, to the point almost all vampires feel it, causing mayhem across the Anarchs and Camarilla as a great Gehenna panic becomes the norm and contact with the active spots of the war almost completely stops.

                          The theaters of the war become the bloodiest they have ever been, rumored sightings of Antediluvians abound, from the few news that reach less troubled domains, from a formless shadows devouring all, to callings to ancient temples during storms. However, even faster than the war ramped up, the Call stops immediately and things seem to calm down again, aside from the apprehension left behind by the call. It becomes popular to assume that was the last scream of the Gehenna, with the hard times behind now as things now return to the status quo, with generally the Ancilla on top.

                          Over the next years, the surviving elders (and any who followed them) start slowly returning, generally gorged with diablerie, a few even possessing other bodies. Exhausted from a war not really under their control, most yearn for the comfort their old domains provided, looking heavenly in comparison to the brutality and hardship of the Gehenna War. Some will want to reclaim their old positions and power, some will want to retreat to the shadows with all the secrets they learned. Some will find that the seats they left have been filled by the younger, some will be acclaimed heroes, only to be later found out that they are no longer the same vampire that left for the beckoning years ago.

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                          • #14
                            Ah, here's an idea.
                            The current metaplot is a struggle between Toreador, Ventrue, Malkav and Brujah. They're all competing for the spirit of humanity and trying to change conditions to be best for their lineage. Ventrue is trying to sow divisions in a divide and conquer strategy to create a stable system where no group is large or cohesive enough to have the power to challenge the status quo. Toreador is happy with this and just wants to rock the boat a little more, exaggerate the divisions to make culture more interesting. Malkav is feeding from the madness and amplifying it further. Brujah actually has the brains to recognize Ventrue's plan and in a twist of irony, actually wants to return things to their natural course, though he is unable to do that when he's going one against three. And So Brujah, in a last bid attempt to save the world, uses Temporis/Runs around the world fast enough so that time flows backwards, dialing things back and using his knowledge to stop such things happening in the future, thus saving us all from this Gehenna scenario/Shitty metaplot.


                            Throw me/White wolf some money with Quietus: Drug Lord, Poison King
                            There's more coming soon. Pay what ya want.

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                            • #15
                              To be completely honest, I can't think of how to resolve the Beckoning and the Gehenna War in a way that would satisfy me. Even if I had full power and could do whatever I wanted, I can't come up with a scenario in which it ends in a way that I like.

                              The first step would be with resolving just what the Beckoning is and what's causing it. The Beckoning is basically causing ancient vampires from almost every clan (save the Hecata) from going off to fight somewhere. This is something that's probably well beyond the capability of any individual Methuselah. So it could an Antediluvian, I suppose.

                              For me though, while I'm cool with Antediluvians having god-like power over their own clan members, I'm less okay with one having that sort of power over ancient vampires who aren't members of their clan. Even if the Antediluvian in question is someone like Ventrue, having him summoning up ancient Gangrel or Malkavian Methuselahs doesn't really sit well with me. It also wouldn't sit well with me if it were the actions of multiple Antediluvians. I don't really like the Antediluvians or their immediate pawns taking a direct part in the game's metaplot to begin with, so I'm much less okay with multiple Antediluvians doing so.

                              So it could be an alliance of absolutely ancient Methuselah, on the level of the Niktuku, who've combined their power to pull their younger siblings to them. Maybe they've decided that the Antediluvians are going to wake up, so they're culling vampires or collecting them to sate their sires hunger? Or it's part of a ritual to wake them up? I guess that could work. Those ancient Methuselah could maybe be members of the Tal'Mahe'Ra because that seems like something they would do? And they have membership from a wide array of clans and a lot of magical power. Possibly this was one of their plans and after Enoch got nuked they decided to go all in and try to wake up the Antes.

                              Alternatively maybe it would be the Beckoning was caused by the Baali? Perhaps they got a vial of Cain's blood and have used it in a ritual to call forth the vampires closest to Cain so that they can diablarize them and gain a vast amount of power. Of course such a plotline would basically be a segue into Baali Wars 3.0 and I don't know that I'd want to see the game go there.

                              Finally I guess the Beckoning could be caused by something non-vampire related - Mages, Demons, Werewolves/The Wyrm, a Yama King, etc. But I wouldn't like to see something non-vampire be responsible for such an integral storyline in VtM unless the authors were planning to go all in on the One World of Darkness.

                              I'd probably resolve it by saying that shortly after the Beckoning ritual was started, the Second Inquisition wiped out the faction responsible for it. At this point the ritual is simply pulling Elders to certain areas but there's no reason behind it. Elders feel themselves drawn to kill one another, they do it, and that's it. Whatever the original goal was, it's been lost in the creators Final Death. There's nobody left behind the curtain, no sneaky Antediluvian ready to jump out and scream boo. At some point the ritual stops (maybe the players can be responsible for it) and things start to return to the status quo - elders come back, some vampires are dead, some are stronger for having committed diablere, but by and large the situation is resolved.

                              I don't really like that but, ehh, best I can do.

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