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Reviewing OPP Chicago by Night supplements

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  • Reviewing OPP Chicago by Night supplements

    This is inspired by Black Fox's excellent write-ups that got me thinking about discussing in-depth some things. I used to WIR's of these supplements but, well, life gets in the way and I was thinking about coming back to discussing the OPP V5 products in light of the larger context of the V5 setting.

    I've mentioned elsewhere that I'm not really a fan of Fifth Edition. I'm a fan of OPP's take on Fifth Edition as I think that the initial presentation was more or less a mess until the good people here provided something that was absent from the revived World of Darkness until they released Chicago by Night 5th Edition and that was an example of how things worked. The Anarch, Camarilla, and core books provided a lot of people TALKING about what's going on in the Kindred world but didn't exactly give any information on what was really being said.

    The Elders have been Beckoned, The Brujah have been kicked out of the Camarilla, the Gangrel have already left the Camarilla, the Assamites have joined the Camarilla, the Ministry have joined the Anarchs, the Sabbat no longer are anything, the Anarchs are their own sect, technology is banned from the Camarilla, and the Second Inquisition is hunting everyone but not so much that there's not an organized Masquerade of sexy people in Elysiums (maybe?).

    I didn't hate the books but I couldn't imagine how Kindred society worked anymore.

    It was...very confusing to me.

    So much so I made this meme.



    While we now have examples of how the Camarilla and Anarchs are supposed to work in V5 from Coteries of New York and Winter's Teeth, I cannot stress enough that OPP SAVED my V:TM fandom because I was ready to just stick with V20 and forget the entirety of the new Edition having happened. With Beckett's Jyhad Diary finally allowing metaplot into V20, I was willing to basically think, "Okay, that's a good book to just basically say it's all over. They saved the best for last."

    However, anyone who has read my posts will probably also note that I've always been a Chicago by Night super-fan. It was where my first games were set and I was always prone to coming back and playing there. Chicago was my 14 year old self's Waterdeep and every bit as magical so I ended up backing the Kickstarter for it as well as buying multiple upgrades. I even got myself inserted in some of the artwork.

    And I wasn't disappointed.

    I feel like CBN 5th Edition was every bit as important for "course correcting" the setting as the original 1st Edition for laying the groundwork for how Princes, Primogen, and so on interact from the beginning. I'm not saying the previous 5th Edition supplements were BAD but they weren't providing me the context I needed.

    I feel like the writers did a fangtastic job giving an idea how the Camarilla and Anarchs interact now (dividing up the city along turf lines and staring at each other across the border), the Second Inquisition gathering information but not overtly engaging every vampire they identify, and showing the ascension of younger vampires to positions of power while making up reasons to keep one's favorite Elders around. We also had examples of Banu Haqim "ambassadors" were laying the groundwork for more of their kind and setting up the changes. While we knew Hellenic Brujah were there from the beginning, we also got a sense of how they had to try doubly hard to keep their power base.

    It was a LOT more like the Old V:TM than I thought V5 was going to be but also incorporated the parts of V5 that I liked. Just rubbed down the edges a bit so it was safe to handle.

    It also updated a lot of characters that I felt added the kind of continuity we needed with the Signature Characters of Revised being MIA.

    I thought it'd be cool to do a thread discussing what your perspective on CHICAGO BY NIGHT 5E, THE CHICAGO FOLIOS, and LET THE STREETS RUN RED were.

    What did you like and dislike about them?
    Last edited by CTPhipps; 07-20-2022, 11:58 PM.


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

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  • #2
    I'm going to keep posting what I love about these books because why not?

    The Prince of Chicago

    Kevin Jackson

    I think making Kevin Jackson the Prince of Chicago was a stroke of genius because it really did illustrate how much the setting had changed while also giving a illustration of what was remaining the same as well. Kevin Jackson is a Neonate and now he's a Prince of the 2nd largest city of the Camarilla in the New World.

    BUT he's a Neonate that has a large private army, a Neonate with financial revenue from the city that is in the tens of millions, and he's a Neonate that is intelligent as well as charismatic. But I think what makes him the best Prince is the same thing that could make Lodin a great Prince. You could easily imagine Kevin Jackson as either your friend or your enemy depending on the adventure. That is a great quality for a Prince because while it's easy to make a tyrant or a hero Prince, it's harder to do both.

    The Sheriff

    Damien

    Damien is one of those characters who kind of begs to be a STPC in that he's a teenager, super-strong, and generically rebelling against authority. He also has a more specific feud with Balthazar and really feels like someone who is the hero of his own story. He's not needed in a Chicago game if the PCs themselves fill that role. Which makes making him the Sheriff of Chicago a genuinely tragic story. He's become a "sellout" Brujah the same way that Balthazar is and betrayed the Anarchs for a pathetically cheap price of, "I can lightly break the Masquerade by playing with my band again."

    The thing is, I actually don't think that KJ was being insincere when he made him the offer of being Sheriff either. Kevin Jackson strikes me as someone who genuinely would see a lot of himself in Damien or at least enough that he'd prefer a former Anarch of color than Balthazar. I think his offer to have Damien "improve himself" was sincere, even if it did make him a traitor.


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

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    • #3
      I only really know of Chicago by night through the wiki, but I have to say Kevin Jackson was super cool. I just feel his story is super original, especially his rise within Chicago. It doesn't hurt that he has a pretty awesome portrait as well.

      Dark glowing red eyes and a fur coat? Get this man a modeling career!


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      • #4
        Or that Hardstadt The Younger got terminated along with his Childe Jan and somehow Theo Bell got away with his head intact and isn't on The Red List.
        Last edited by Lysander; 07-23-2022, 12:20 PM.


        What in the name of Set is going on here?

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        • #5
          I have to confess I haven't read the book, but for what I have read at the wiki, bringing Lodin back is a terrible idea.
          Our old Lodin would have never skulked like a rat while one of his younger Children rules HIS city. He would have walked to him and taken his throne back. Kevin Jackson, in a lucky night, would have been ranked for keeping it warm, in a bad one...
          I don't care he may be paranoid because of what happened to him, his nature is BRAVO!!! As, an evidence, he didn't go into hiding after being kidnapped in Ashes to Ashes, so I don't see why he would do it now
          Not to mention that bringing characters back from the dead and the hidden Prince are old una overused tropes.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Lysander View Post
            Or that Hardstadt The Younger got terminated along with his Childe Jan and somehow Theo Bell got away with his head intact and isn't on The Red List.
            I think you may have posted this in the wrong thread.


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

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            • #7
              Sorry but I was thinking how an elder who has been out of touch would react to all the changes to Kindred society in the last twenty plus years.


              What in the name of Set is going on here?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Lysander View Post
                Sorry but I was thinking how an elder who has been out of touch would react to all the changes to Kindred society in the last twenty plus years.
                I admit, I think the only way that remotely makes sense is Luncinde is covertly signalling that Hardelstadt was assassinated by order of the rest of the Inner Circle.

                Though then that makes expelling the Brujah may no sense.

                Oh well, there are some genuinely dumb things in V5 but that's why I like Chicago by Night. It's just the best supplement of V5 in terms of world-building and gets rid of so much stupid/fixes it. Hence why I made a threat to celebrate what people liked about it.


                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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                • #9
                  I do like the story plot of The Lasombra joining the Camarila in Chicago and how this would be a big boon for the young Prince Kevin Jackson.


                  What in the name of Set is going on here?

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