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  • Post- Ashes to ashes (spoilers)

    My group has finished the classic story Ashes to Ashes and I´m planning to run Under a blood red moon with another group but in the same continuity. This topic will be very *SPOILER*-heavy, so if you are going to play in the Chicago-setting, keep away from this thread, don´t read any further














    The story ended with Lodin killed, Roarke´s rats did it. In my Chronicle this happened on January 2nd 1991 and the happenings in Under a blood red moon happen in 1993. How do you think the setting should change after the death of Lodin, for example I don´t think that Ballard would be suitable to become Prince, his Charisma - and Appearance-ratings are very low indeed.



  • #2
    I'm not 100% sure that Under a Blood Red Moon would happen without Lodin so would be interested to know how you would adapt it to fit.

    There is a old short story on Kismet's website where Lodin's childer meeting up after his death. Maybe a good source for you to take a look at.

    In my opinion, I believe the title of Prince would remain vacant. With Ballard, Capone and Jackson preventing any Kindred from outside their clan from becoming Prince whilst preventing each other from becoming Prince as well. In addition to this, Maxwell may have moved back to Chicago and would be seeking allies in his attempt to retake the city.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Baron John View Post
      I'm not 100% sure that Under a Blood Red Moon would happen without Lodin so would be interested to know how you would adapt it to fit.

      There is a old short story on Kismet's website where Lodin's childer meeting up after his death. Maybe a good source for you to take a look at.

      In my opinion, I believe the title of Prince would remain vacant. With Ballard, Capone and Jackson preventing any Kindred from outside their clan from becoming Prince whilst preventing each other from becoming Prince as well. In addition to this, Maxwell may have moved back to Chicago and would be seeking allies in his attempt to retake the city.
      It would certainly happen, as what actually leads to it is Helena blowing things out of proportion in the garou-Sabbat attack on the Succubus club and inducing the Prince and primogen to overreact with the Blood Hunt on all werewolves. No matter the new prince, if she has her Mega-Dominate hooks on it, things happen exactly the same. Even if the Prince is not her personal pawn she already has a good set of pieces in the primogen, so it would be pretty simple to make it happen even with no new prince in the city after two years. Damn, someone could bring up such a blood hunt under hopes of uniting the kindred under its banner.

      As an aside, Lodin's destruction could bring Eletria - not to mention Maxwell and few of the "new" characters from 2nd ed Chicago - to the city a few years earlier and the mix of kindred from both editions in the city could bring up some unexpected interactions, alliances and rivalries to the scenery.

      Going with my example about Eletria, just age and power make her a potential candidate/threat for either Prince or Toreador leader & Primogen. Or Annabelle could try some bold/crazy move and take the Prince chair while Eletria assumed as Toreador Primogen.

      Or for a more convoluted set-up, Modius manages to cement an alliance between Maxwell and Maldavis, while bringing Annabelle and the "old school anarchs" support to the mix in making a mass takedown against most of Lodin's brood before the Ventrue have time to resettle their pecking order. Along the way DuSable joins the trio, because Maldavis & Baby Chorus - and consequently, both his childer, recognized and not - are already in the mix.

      "But who will rule?" you may ask "One gets Chicago and the other may rebuild Gary without Ventrue sabotage, but what does the third leader in this alliance gets out of it?" you may question.

      Milwaukee - the chaotic, anarch gangs-riddled and insular domain just close by that loses its prince between '91-92 (early '92 according to Gangrel Revised). Milwaukee will be the third piece of the trio's pie.

      Just one sample setup among other possibilities. Lots of things could happen to make it work or fail, with those individuals or others taking their places (Juggler instead of Modius, Gordon Keaton, one of Capone's childer, Turk or Akawa from Milwaukee instead of Maldavis and so on). As a little extra if you want to complicate the mix, if memory tricks me not the Jade Demon nephandus from Book of Chantries had his base in Chicago and some connections with Pham Hong.

      As an aside, two princes falling so close to each other in location and time could send all kinds of alert sirens blaring in many circles of interest and power. It would also justify the overkill of a werewolf hunt in '93, that could or not extend to Milwaukee depending on circunstances.
      Last edited by Baaldam; 02-13-2019, 11:17 AM.

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      • #4
        My uncertainty stems from the Spiral-Sabbat alliance, not Helena, as this is the catalyst for Under a Blood Red Moon followed by Helena's overreaction to it.

        With Lodin gone Helena and Menele's pawns will be clashing over the top job causing chaos throughout the city.

        With Anarchs running rampant and Ventrue backed gangs taking pot shots at them, the Sabbat could easily take advantage of it without allying with the Black Spiral Dancers.

        In canon, when does Petrodon come to Chicago? I suppose you could have him visit the city earlier to restore order and then have the Sabbat ally with the Black Spiral Dancers when they notice things are not going their way starting the events in Under a Blood Red Moon. You could even tie in Petrodon' assassination by the Anarchs.

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        • #5
          In the meantime, are you planning to run some of the other Chicago adventures, like Blood Bond and the Succubus Club short adventures?

          There has been some interesting (and lengthy) discussion on Chicago By Night and its related supplements on RPGnet recently, including ideas for using the adventures, like the commentary on Blood Bond suggests changing it to feature Schumpeter, who is the kind of guy Neally is suddenly rewritten to be like, and adjusting the ending so it's less about how great his Sabbat rival is.


          Craig Oxbrow
          The Trinity Continuum freelancer

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Craig Oxbrow View Post
            In the meantime, are you planning to run some of the other Chicago adventures, like Blood Bond and the Succubus Club short adventures?

            There has been some interesting (and lengthy) discussion on Chicago By Night and its related supplements on RPGnet recently, including ideas for using the adventures, like the commentary on Blood Bond suggests changing it to feature Schumpeter, who is the kind of guy Neally is suddenly rewritten to be like, and adjusting the ending so it's less about how great his Sabbat rival is.
            Yeah, i never thought much about it (never really played the adventure) but yeah, its fits very nicely with Schumpeter with none of the contrived retcons the adventure made to use Neally. It also allows for the cutting of much unecessary fat related the Sabbat nemesis and how his pack admires him & etc.

            Or alternately you could replace Neally with Horatio Ballard - who's just as odious as Schumpeter - and make Lawrence Ballard into the nemesis, what could be pretty devastating, if Ballard is trying to hold the city in his grip, as disgusting as he is, his presence is basically one of the main deterrents to Capone and Kevin Jackson going for the throne by total gang warfare. A corruption/turnover of Lawrence to the Sabbat also work as foreshadowing to the sect's moves in the city in Under a Blood Red Moon.


            edit: Somehow i managed to completely miss Baron John's post for 3 days. Now that i have seen it, it's only fair that i should answer it

            Originally posted by Baron John View Post
            My uncertainty stems from the Spiral-Sabbat alliance, not Helena, as this is the catalyst for Under a Blood Red Moon followed by Helena's overreaction to it.

            With Lodin gone Helena and Menele's pawns will be clashing over the top job causing chaos throughout the city.

            With Anarchs running rampant and Ventrue backed gangs taking pot shots at them, the Sabbat could easily take advantage of it without allying with the Black Spiral Dancers.
            Actually, Ballard was already keeping a lid on things along with Neally even before he sends the PCs after Lodin's whereabouts, what means he starts with a headstart and things are not quite as shaken up yet.

            In that contained but tense context the Spiral-Sabbat alliance could be even more devastating, as the kindred are already waiting for an excuse to blow up.

            Originally posted by Baron John View Post
            In canon, when does Petrodon come to Chicago? I suppose you could have him visit the city earlier to restore order and then have the Sabbat ally with the Black Spiral Dancers when they notice things are not going their way starting the events in Under a Blood Red Moon. You could even tie in Petrodon' assassination by the Anarchs.
            Honestly, afaik the Justicar's only noteworthy appearance in Chicago was in '97, when he was assassinated and while i never read the clan novels, my impression from a number of sources and snippets is that his motives for being there were unrelated to any local problems or his role as Justicar.
            Last edited by Baaldam; 01-07-2016, 10:50 PM.

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            • #7
              That's a good option too, since most players will side with Lawrence. Having Neally be the target but not deserving of it could also work.


              Craig Oxbrow
              The Trinity Continuum freelancer

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Craig Oxbrow View Post
                That's a good option too, since most players will side with Lawrence. Having Neally be the target but not deserving of it could also work.
                Yes, yes, the adventure's whole (contrived) morality bolero of a background could be completely in Jefferson Foster's twisted point of view and words, the tale of a deep friendship that turns to rivalry and much, much worse due to the terrible potentials (psychological & supernatural) of the kindred condition, how everything between them is twisted and soured the moment both their attentions (Emilly included) are attracted to the same target.

                Neally turns Emilly into a ghoul out of need to possess and never lose her, while at the same time preserve her humanity (what would not be possible with constant Dominate or the Embrace), the same one Jefferson feels Neally has debased by making Emilly as hedonistic (and addicted) as he once became. This leads Jefferson's minor insecurities to turn into full-blown hatred and a snowballing descent into inhumanity as he pursues his all-consuming desire to break Emilly's addiction/bondage and drag Neally back to the pit of debauchement he refuses to admit he never left and drags other around him into.

                The confrontation that results from this badly shakes Neally, taking his unhealthy need for the ghoul one level farther, into one to, through Emilly's initiative, control and fetter to his will anyone else who might develop similar romantic interest in his paramour-thrall, to bond any and all future potential rivals, basically making him into a male and more consciously ruthless version of Gary's Allicia.

                And Emilly - well, she might actually have had far more choice and power in the tale than is actually given credit for. To want to be a successful actress in late 19th-early 20th century is not to exist as a jewel or rare butterfly "safe" and "pure" behind a glass box and the text itself recognizes she made a choice for Neally even before the bond came in. Was she dragged into a world of hedonistic decadence, one very few women in her time were even allowed to experience by Neally or did she dive on it along with him? Is she the broken Sybil Vane Jefferson wants to believe or is the character and tale she seeks to play another? Her sexually aggresive take on blood doll behaviour (and how connected is she to that urban tribe?), taking sips from several unwitting neonates - and binding them to "repeat dates" through a bond to Neally, strongly suggests she's far more of a predator than anyone is caring to admit.


                As an aside, each one of the mentioned variants in Blood Bond's plot could be played out as its own independent tale.

                - Edward Neally x Jefferson Foster may be played with the above for some sample of turns and twists.

                - Horatio Ballard x Lawrence Ballard ups the scale of things considerably, as not one person, but several branches of a whole family, not to mention a simmering dispute for Prince, are at stake.

                - Schumpeter x [insert expy for Jefferson Foster here] brings in some interesting extra complications: his runaway daughter who became a hunter has ties to Detective Gregory Stevens, the police officer who's the brother of Evelyn Stevens, the (also blood-bonded) childe of Juggler, making this into a potential circuit of interconnected alliances and conflict. Either Gregory or the girl could decide to "fight fire with fire" and effectivelly become Foster's expy by turning Sabbat.

                With the presence of at least two infiltrators in the city, it would make sense for the Sabbat to twist any blood bonds they can find tracks of and try to exploit that card to poison the power dynamics of the city's status quo and as a tool of paranoia, both morality lesson and recruitment tool among the oppressed and abused among Chicago's kindred, sowing disorder and collecting support before their actual move.

                For example, imagine how bad it would be, after one or more big incidents involving weird blood bond shenanigans among very visible kindred hitting the city such as those related above, someone dropped the rumor that Maldavis is the child of a Tremere (aka blood-magicians no one really trusts clan) elder?

                Also, weren't most of Lodin's childer bound to him? If it is so, his destruction would bring some further tension to the equation, as suddenly no one in the brood, (except for Ballard & Capone's respective childer) is beholden to anyone. At most, Bobby Weatherbottom to Annabelle (what could be trouble on itself).

                PS: Just remembered something - the tale of the Nosferatu Kristian (from Milwaukee by Night) mentions that Parovich maintains contact and sometimes receives messengers or visits from other kindred of the Sabbat. Could this be a tie to Bach's pack in Blood Bond, the pair of Infiltrators in Chicago or both?
                Last edited by Baaldam; 03-27-2018, 11:32 PM.

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                • #9
                  Great work - I specially like bringing Stephens in with Schumpeter's daughter and the further interconnections that could lead to. There are a lot of unhealthy Blood Bound couples in Chicago and nearby domains...


                  Craig Oxbrow
                  The Trinity Continuum freelancer

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Craig Oxbrow View Post
                    Great work - I specially like bringing Stephens in with Schumpeter's daughter and the further interconnections that could lead to. There are a lot of unhealthy Blood Bound couples in Chicago and nearby domains...
                    What makes the idea of Rigaud and Wade using it as a tool to sow disorder and paranoia across local kindred even more interesting. Not to mention that a number of the city's kindred probably have ghouls that they take mostly for granted even though they may have interests, dislikes and additional loyalties of their own.

                    Damn, imagine the damage if they picked recruits for the first batch of mass embraces from the city's many ghouls - now you got a band of shovelheads already familiar with kindred, disciplines and whose past bonds have been twisted into shared feelings of betrayal through the power of the Vaulderie. That could hurt like hell.

                    And now for something else...


                    The Johnny Come Latelies Band, Or What To Do With 2nd Ed. NPCs

                    In my first post i commented in passing on the possibility of Lodin's destruction in Ashes to Ashes resulting in the early arrival/return of a number of NPCs from post-Under a Blood Red Moon Chicago and how the mixing of casts could result in whole new directions and situations. This time i'm going to try a rundown of them.


                    Maxwell - His whole motivation was retaking Chicago and he has associates in the city, meaning he can be used pretty much as is and might be one of the first to learn of Lodin being out equation and arrive.

                    Carlyle (and his gang) - from what is said in his background, the gang has already visited the city a number of times since Maldavis council wars ('83-87), so there's more than enough excuse for them to come in '91 instead of '93. That said, the Caitiffs are so fresh and from such disparate places that it is a pretty good guess they are late replacements of the gang's roll call in the council wars, what gives a ST decent excuse to make any additions it feels like, such as the sires of Jasper Krevets or Raymond Wallace or any anarch NPCs from LA by Night (or Mexico) one feels like.

                    Andrei - his background (comment about Carlyle's gang encountering him in Jersey on '90 notwithstanding) is pretty clearly tied to the soviet hardline coup of '91 and Baba Yaga's destruction of the Brujah council, meaning he's either still in their service or at the start of his escape, not yet part of the gang and consequently wouldn't get to appear (unless an ST makes up an excuse for it, like being later brought in through Maxwell's latin american revolutionary friends or somesuch). A major difference that taking him out of the gang makes is that (not counting any extra additions by the ST) it leaves Carlyle alone at the helm of a band of demented, violence-addicted thugs that could just as well turn into a Sabbat pack if given the chance.

                    The Trinity (Bronwyn, Corbin & Bryan) - Bronwyn is most probably around and, while not as dramatic a vacuum as in Blood Red Moon, might see the moment as an opportunity to make waves in kindred society much as she did in 2nd edition. Corbin and Bryan's reasons to come to Chicago are essentially random and vague, so much so that their being abroad or in the Windy City is wholy a matter of ST fiat (or Madness Network at action). That said, bringing Bronwyn first as a local power finally rearing her head (prospective candidate for Malkavian Primogen?), to then be sidetracked from the political games with the arrival of either or both makes it much easier to work their tale into the whole scenario and get the PCs involved with it, instead of some closed background vignette they barely get to interact with. Incidentally, for some reason that can't quite put my finger on, i tend to think of Corbin as an older and more vicious version of Annabelle.

                    Cedrick Calhoun - might take a little longer for him to come to the city due to Lodin's death not being part of as dramatic a mess as the werewolf attack, but pretty much the same. Also his desire for justice & order and distaste at what the games of Chicago's elders did and do to Gary and other parts of the Midwest could make him a potential ally to Maldavis, Modius or both.

                    Eletria - her coming to Chicago is a mix of receiving the news of Lodin's destruction and being pulled by her sire's presence, so her situation is pretty much the same and might come early much like Maxwell and a great cover for Helena, as she could present herself as Portia's sire, whom Lodin received in the city as a favor to his old friend/lover/mentor. That said, Helena is just out of Torpor and weakened, what could result in a Eletria much less compliant and subservient, making it a not as wise choice. She could also in her sorrow "adopt" the youngest and more humane of Lodin's childer, Bobby Weatherbottom and Lorraine (and Becky if the poor thing is not destroyed in Blood Bond), and play surrogate mentor/mama hen to them.

                    Ublo-Satha - technically she comes to the Chantry as an observer of the Inner Council in post-Under a Blood Red Moon Chicago. While Menele might compel her anyway, the situation doesn't quite justify her coming yet and forcing the issue would risk compromising the agent and exposing one's hand to the Tremere's Inner Council, a bad move of epic proportions. Seriously, she has served the Tremere for so long i could see her Inner Council master trying to put the poor thing in the Red List if she just went rogue, much like they did with Valerius Maior.

                    The Nomad Sabbat Pack - with Tyler's past ties to the Sabbat still not rekindled through favors & blackmail, the context this band of losers serves to unwitting expose (and bring her back into their fold) does not yet exist and they have no reason to be. Still, one could easily ignore this detail and use them as substitutes or in parallel to the stat-less Sabbat pack from Blood Bond. Incidentally i think Carlyle & gang could make a pretty good expy for Bach & his crew.

                    Another interesting addition/complication to the Sabbat's bag of tricks would be Dmitri and his crew (from "Player of Pawns" in Succubus Club), that are supposedly connected to the Sabbat. While their style and behavior is a far cry from the usual image of the Sect, it actually fits to a tee the Amici Noctis, the Friends of Night, the secret society/elite club that connects prestigious Lasombra in and out of the Sabbat, outrageous "live chess" games included. Making Dmitri into Lasombra and a major elder of the group is a resonably clean way to fit his old background to the setting with minimal change. His kindred agents/pawns might or not be Lasombra depending on a ST's preferences. Paulov's poise and distaste with the Sabbat could certainly fit one and Killikilarven as an Abyss mystic, with the Hag/Queen as who knows what strange entity from that place of lost things could be fun too.

                    Also, i just remembered some resources that might be of use for those STing in a Chicago between editions, among other things.
                    Last edited by Baaldam; 03-28-2018, 01:26 AM.

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                    • #11
                      I haven´t been active in the forums now and then I found all of this. Great stuff, everyone This and the links you sent will provide a lot of inspiration

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                      • #12
                        After the Flood has been on my computer for several years and I´ve planned to run it in several of my Chicago Chronicles, unfortunately they have ended earlier than I wanted. The Gary by Night-book have been used several times already

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by The Chronicler View Post
                          After the Flood has been on my computer for several years and I´ve planned to run it in several of my Chicago Chronicles, unfortunately they have ended earlier than I wanted. The Gary by Night-book have been used several times already
                          Then i wish you good luck with your game and that you get the chance to use it and then some this time around.

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