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Lets talk Chicago by Night and it's History

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  • #31
    That's an amazing story, Mahjemm01 and serious food for thought about how to use historical personages in Chicago.


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

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Aahz View Post
      I just read it and never played there but my biggest problems with the book is that they are mainly focused on stuff and characters that are way above the League of typical player characters, and there are not many plot ideas for stuff players could do in the book.
      I always took Vampire to be the Seinfeld of gaming in that it's the game about nothing. You really don't have to actually have plots in vampire the way you do in D&D because living as a vampire in tabletop is almost entertaining by itself. Say, you go to the Succubus Club and meet some Kindred before interacting with them for the night is often entertaining enough to be an adventure.

      * Get in a brawl with the Anarchs
      * Get in the face of the Sheriff
      * Go seduce "Portia" or Sharon Payne
      * Having a feeding going wrong.

      It's a game which is just fun being a vampire.

      At least that's the way I do it.


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

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      • #33
        That was just the high high points. There was so much more to the chronicle. I imagine I have actually forgotten half of it lol. I am hoping to top Chicago with my Hong Kong KotE chronicle that I recently started

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        • #34
          Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
          I think a major part of the book, though, was NOT going at things gun blazing. There were a few characters you were meant to kill but it wasn't until Second Edition it was really emphasizing combat. Even then it wasn't like D&D so that a bunch of shotguns really could get rid of most problems no matter the monster's "level."
          Im not talking about just about combat, but even achieving something poltically is hard with so many low gen elders around.


          Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
          I always took Vampire to be the Seinfeld of gaming in that it's the game about nothing. You really don't have to actually have plots in vampire the way you do in D&D because living as a vampire in tabletop is almost entertaining by itself. Say, you go to the Succubus Club and meet some Kindred before interacting with them for the night is often entertaining enough to be an adventure.
          For me thats fun for a few evenings, but than becomes boring very fast.

          Imo setting book should offer lots of stuff for the players to do, and revolve around the stuff that the NPCs do.

          Last edited by Aahz; 07-31-2016, 08:07 AM.

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          • #35
            I agree that a setting book should offer lots of stuff. IMO that's one of Pathfinder Inner Sea region books problem!s. Not enough fluff. With Chicago I found most ideas were found in the NPC section, In the backgrounds and stuff. I will admit I didnt use three quarters of the list characters. But since I wasn't ST a strictly VtM chronicle I didnt worry bout it. Half my ideas actually came from other books and then mixed with actual Chicago setting stuff. Like I was inspired by the Sorcerer book to do a story where one of the Players was the "victim" of a summoning. Then I threw the Changelings into the mix. Added in Great America, Six Flags over America. Wound up with a Silver Fang being summoned by a Shidhe to be his champion against a Unseelie Pooka, which lead to a climax that was a sword fight atop a moving roller coaster ( read back of a running dragon), and done. Cut wrap and print
            Last edited by Mahjemm01; 07-31-2016, 01:46 PM.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Aahz View Post
              Im not talking about just about combat, but even achieving something poltically is hard with so many low gen elders around.
              Could you explain on what you mean?

              I think a lot of the plots are set up in the characters backgrounds but not especially spelled out, which could throw people used to be more clear-cut mission parameters. I think V:TM and Chicago specifically was trying to maximize freedom for the characters as you could play any number of moral or social alignments with no clear cut good guy or bad guy. There were perhaps a lot more "good" and "bad" Kindred in Chicago by Night than their probably should have been but I think the plot hooks were all pretty much wired in if you knew where to look.

              1. Help Critias survive being murdered by Tyler or help her murder Tyler.
              2. Overthrow Juggler because he's just a puppet of the Elders and become leader of the Anarchs.
              3. Help Maldavis get her groove back to become leader of the Anarchs.
              4. Prove Neon was sired by Balthazar and get a Blood Hunt called against Sheriff.
              5. Side with Melene against Helena or Helena against Menele.
              6. Help Annabelle find out Helena devoured her sire and gain a 6th generation ally to take down the Toreador Methuseleh.
              7. Convince Priam to turn against Helena completely because he's good and shes evil.
              8. Nathaniel will try to hunt you down, deal with him first despite his better Kindred connections.
              9. Take down Jacob Schumpter because he's a spouse abusing monster despite being part of the Man.
              10. Help Lawrence Ballard kill Horatio Ballard becasue the latter is a child molester.
              11. Deal with the fact Tazomonius is having regular murderous blood-orgies.
              12. Take down Son for his Sonness despite Maureen O'Leary going to make your life hell for it.

              I think the book was full of plot hooks which jumped out at you background wise but could have, yes, probably used a big long page of them. I also think Chicago's Power Structure was a lot more unstable than it looked from the outside.

              1. Critias would likely be murdered by Tyler who would likely be killed for her diablerie or forced to flee to the Sabbat.
              2. Khalid could very easily be convinced to leave Chicago and join the Inconnu to get some real actual help on his road to Golconda.
              3. Nicolai could end up getting "recalled to Vienna" (replace that with Moscow for a Cold War quip) when Erichtho's Blodo Bond comes to light.
              4. Annabelle is actually a poseur and not nearly as secure as she appears. Plus, she's about to trip over Helena.
              5. Inyanga is actually the only really secure one and she's the least hands-on.


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

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              • #37
                FIFTH EDITION CHICAGO BY NIGHT!

                WOOT!

                Man, I wish I could get into this.


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

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                • #38
                  I'm a huge fan of Chicago By Night as well. I began my first foray into Vampire the Masquerade with the "Forged in Steel" Chronicle. There's actually a fair number of historic, Chicago centered characters besides the obvious like Al Capone or characters from literature.. That's part of Chicago's charm. Its raw, unrefined Vampire the Masquerade, chock full of lore, plots and mystery; things are still undefined, the lore of the world and the metaplot not entirely fleshed out and quantified.

                  In my own chronicle, I found a use for Capone. My girlfriend at the time (she's now my wife of 21 years) wanted a Ventrue character Embraced in the late 1920s or early 30s..She made an Irish-American girl from a working class neighborhood with an abusive father, who gambled too much. She ends up going to work for Capone to make enough money so her family doesn't end up on the streets, and eventually ends up as a prostitute in Capone's employ. She gets pregnant, but Capone continues to provide her money and arranges for the baby to be "taken care of" (the baby is adopted, and that seeds a future storyline, similar to what V5 would call a "Touchstone"). But, in return, her character owes Capone. She becomes part of a Herd provided to "special clientele"- Ventrue Ancilla and none other than "Olaf Holte." She becomes one of Olaf's favorite, but even he's not immune to the Beast, and loses it one night, killing her. In one of those rare moments of guilt for him, he chooses to Embrace her. This of course, remains a secret for a very long time and was one hell of a reveal. She played the Ventrue game with vengeance on her mind, she was an Anarch working on the inside.

                  She and my players didn't find Al Capone cheesy at all, it was a rich, complex relationship. In part because she needed Capone to track down her daughter and her daughter's family.
                  Last edited by Ruthven; 09-03-2018, 08:16 PM.

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                  • #39
                    Chicago By Night 1E is my favorite setting for VTM. Hell, most of V1 was awesome.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Camilla View Post
                      Chicago By Night 1E is my favorite setting for VTM. Hell, most of V1 was awesome.
                      It's really the set up from which all other ideas about vampire politics and social interactions flows.

                      Sheriffs didn't exist until....Sheriff.
                      Last edited by CTPhipps; 09-06-2018, 04:21 AM.


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

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                      • #41
                        It really is the best setting. I still think about it a long time after I last read the book. So many great characters and locations. The whole thing just... comes to life in your mind.

                        Man, all I have to do is think about it for a couple minutes and I'm drawn right in again.
                        Last edited by grubf; 09-08-2018, 09:05 PM.

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                        • #42
                          The main strengths of 1st edition Chicago By Night were

                          1) Characters actually embedded in the city's actual history. They aren't random PCs of the writer inserted into a city. It really established the city you were in was Chicago and not just any city. It really made the older characters seem old.

                          2) Because it was so early, the vampires were really just Camarilla and Anarchs (and 2 Sabbat spies). Not every clan or sect was present so it could really focus on personal conflict, and not metaplot or random monster of the week. (This changed in 2nd edition as every clan was dumped into the city and the Sabbat established a significant presence).

                          3) Lots of character types. It was not a setting where you had to be combat oriented to have fun (although of course that was an option). Lots of hooks.

                          4) If you had a good ST, your characters learned that reality was far different than you thought initially. There was a lot of mystery to figure out. That Lodin was a pawn of the primogen. That certain Anarchs were dupes, sell-outs, or outright traitors. That there were multiple levels of intrigue. That one of the prime movers of those intrigues was that there feuding Methusalehs in the city. My own PC group never even figured out that there were methusalehs in the city, or that the Toreador neonate we sometimes saw at clubs was one of them.

                          No other city by night book comes close.

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                          • #43
                            CbN is a great campaign supplement. CbN 1st and Cities of Lies for L5R 1st are the two best IMO.

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