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Haunts & Finding a location for Necropolis & Citadel (Paris by Night)

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  • Haunts & Finding a location for Necropolis & Citadel (Paris by Night)

    Hi, I'm trying to find a location for Paris' Necropolis & citadel (in a WoD setting probably mainly dedicated to Vampire, but with probable light interferences from other creatures - but maybe stronger interferences from feelings & vibe of Haunt-related places) . I'd like to have you feel on it, as well as how, where and why did you place your necropolis...

    I'm a bit confused (using Wraith 2nd ed.): haunts (and Haunts) are supposed to be place where pathos is produced (both "good" & "bad", although "bad" pathos is stronger - p.35).

    Thus, I'm thinking to make both "good" and "bad" haunts :
    • - maybe the Pont des Arts would be a "good" haunt, although lovers would be next to depressed-suicidal-minded people...), and the pont saint-Michel a "bad" haunt ('cus 17/10/1961 massacre)...
    • Drancy camp would make for a "bad" pathos (French version of the Holocaust supplement),
    • some churches (and town-halls, where weddings mostly occur today), ),
    • offices (boredom, ambition, sex, harrassment...),
    • the Neuilly school (rich place of town) where a hostage-crisis took place in 1993,
    • libraries, museums, etc.

    1st conclusion: most places don't do for only "good" or "bad" pathos, usually both are mixed. And if you start thinking about places in terms of emotions, all of them fit, and pathos can usually be mixed (although you can, in certain cases, certainly go for a dominant tone).

    2nd thing, Wraith p.39-40 says Necropolis are usually in the "place of town where people don't go". But doesn't this defeat the purpose of being able to feed on pathos - especially if the Necropolis is supposed to also be where the biggest Haunt of the city is ?

    So, where exactly would this be ? They suggest industrial & abandoned zones (but where to take the pathos, if human beings don't work there anymore?), or drug-slums...

    Beside, how do you make this go with the city's history. You can't have the Necropolis move every so often, can you? But the "bad" places won't always be there (the 60s slum of Nanterre-La Folie is now the siege of the Police prefecture...).

    Perhaps in my World of Darkness, the slum would have been replaced by a drug-infested "bad" neighborhood... Or I could use some former industrial zones (perhaps Boulogne-Billancourt, or in the north). But all these examples are not old enough: surely the Necropolis would predate the 60s !

    As a side-note, making shanty-towns the exclusive producer of "bad" pathos seems a bit stereotypical (see for instance this testimony - in French - about a guy talking about the shanty-town where he used to live, and the freedom to run in Nature he enjoyed, contrasted to the all-too regular & reglementary official park which has been set up today).

    For all these reasons (history: a Necropolis should in theory be in a very old place ; contradiction: if the Necropolis can't just move around, chances are that (real, if not fictionous) landmarks of the city would today be places where people do go ; caricature of making poor places necessary places of despair & "bad" pathos), I'm thinking to simply ignore most of the official description of a Necropolis, and locate it (and the major Haunt) in a major (real) seat of power (for instance, La Défense business district, or even Elysée or Matignon (respectivement offices of President & Prime minister), or perhaps 36 Quai des Orfèvres (Police prefecture & investigation, used to be where death-penalty was applied, and I think near Place de Grève in the Middle Ages).

    Thus, the "bad" pathos-producing place would be the Skinworld's places of power, thriving with humans (and wealthy & powerful humans), but also with cynism, hypocrisy, ambition and cutt-throating maneuvers, etc.) - which would, I think, concord with WoD's general feeling.

    Last edited by Tazmaniacs; 03-14-2018, 10:52 PM.

  • #2
    Canonically, the Paris Citadel is in the Parisian Catacombs (Wr20, pg. 63). You seem to be conflating Haunts, Citadels, and Necropoli - the Necropolis of Paris is the entire city of Paris, just on the Shadowlands side, whereas a Haunt would be something like the attic musée of the Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile, the the Citadel would be situated in a place the Quick don't usually go, namely somewhere in the closed-off sections of the ossuary, though it could be anywhere in the disused mines.


    If you don't use an Oxford comma, I feel bad for you, son,
    'Cuz I got ninety-nine problems, but clarity ain't one.


    • #3
      Thanks (a lot) for your W20 description (I haven't yet had a hold on the book), I will probably follow some of its suggestions.

      1/ It does seem to contradict W 2nd ed., p.35-40, which is not a bad thing (it used to say that the Necropolis what usually in the "part of town that, when mentioned by the living, (...) produces the reaction, "You don't want to go there", and, concerning the Citadel, that it was "the largest and strongest Haunt in a Necropolis", usually corresponding in the Skinlands "to an abandoned warehouse (...), a strip mine, a dump or some other expanse devoted to decay and destruction". (p.39-40).

      Since haunts where defined (p.35-36) as "places where strong emotions has frayed the fabric of the Shroud thin", called "haunted places" by living (see also p.129), and usually "found in places of despair", etc., although "strong love, hope or courage will do so as well". Examples given were "graveyards, slums, battlefields, abandoned houses, prisons, nightclubs, lonely crossroads and treacherous curves". Note that these examples include both unpopulated places (well, admittedly; the famous Père Lachaise cemetery of Paris is hardly frightening on a summer day, full of tourists as it is - on the other side, on a creepy night where some teenagers might have a thrill, or on a snowy morning during a cremation, it could be, in WoD, quite different), and populated (nightclubs, slums).

      And the inclusion of populated places was immediately contradicted by the statements: "To the living, Haunts are most often grim and depressing (...) No one without severe mental disorders or a depressed poet's mentality would voluntarily live in a Haunt. Those few who try are generally driven out immediately, unless the wraiths who own the Haunt prefer to keep the living around as emotional fodder for their Passions" (p.36).

      I think my main problem is to understand how to combine a place where human are afraid to go (or, at least, do not voluntary live in) and the need for wraiths to feed their Passions on humans' pathos - which should mean they would like to be where humans are, even if they are many of them (what better place to feed on ambition that a multinational's or elite lawyer firm's offices ? on anger or justice than a big demonstration ? etc.).

      As an aside question: a human being can walk through a non-embodied wraith, can't he ? (despite of description of Insubstantiality p.23, which is contradicted elsewhere in descriptions of Corpus - I think that confused me about populated & unpopulated haunts).

      2/ About making the whole of Paris a Necropolis (controlled by the Hierarchy, I suppose) and the Catacombs the Citadel.

      Why would the Catacombs qualify as the most powerful Haunt of Paris ? And clearly, this contradict Wraith 2nd ed., of making the Necropolis the place in town where you don't want to be - which, again, is not a bad thing.

      If the whole of Paris is a Hierarchical Necropolis, does this mean that interactions with living (and vampires) would be severely restricted ? Or would local wraiths just ignore this Dictum Mortuum rule (as per description "Charon's Law" in W 2nd ed., p.52) ? And would Renegades and/or Heretics still be present (albeit discreet, hidden or clandestine) ?

      Sidenote: funny, I wasn't aware that the Arc de Triomphe had a museum. I don't really get why game designers thought that place was full of Pathos, but well... The Shoah Memorial (where ashes of victims are buried), Charonne metro station (outdoor), place Dulcie September, or place de la Nation (executive site during the 1789 Revolution, 1 360 guillotined people...; so many demonstrations, 1953 police shootings , 1963 Yé-yé concerts & riots, 1994 shootings of Florence Rey, etc. etc.), would clearly be better choices...


      • #4
        IIRC, Wraith: The Great War, covered the Paris Necropolis. Sure it's set in WWI, but it could help.

        Project consolidation:
        Rough Draft: Dhole Shifters, Ottawa By Night, Tribebook Bunyip, Garou Variant
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        • #5
          Thanks, I'll check it out ! Any thought about the haunts are places where living people go / do not go ?


          • #6
            I supose a certain address in the Rue Morgue might qualify, if one wanted it to.

            What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
            Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)


            • #7
              Wraith20 is unclear about what a Necropolis is, so I'm going to add this to the errata:

              Necropolis: A citadel of the dead, usually manned by the Legions. Often found in the oldest parts of a city or the ones most thickly populated by wraiths. Plural is Necropoli (22)
              A Necropolis is the standard term for a Hierarchy outpost in the Shadowlands, usually overlaying some mortal city or other. (61)
              Those definitions are in conflict.

              Tazmaniacs, I think it's important to remember that Wraith is a game about ghosts, drawing from ghost stories. Ghost stories aren't typically set in bustling, modern parts of the city. While it may make sense that Wraiths would convene where the greatest number of humans are buzzing about, that conflicts with the history of ghost stories, which place ghosts in neglected, ancient, crumbling, and eerie locations--the types of places where humans feel uncomfortable and are reminded of the Great Beyond or of the dusty past. Silicon Valley may be bursting with activity and crowded with juicy humans, but sparkling glass tech neighborhoods and districts crammed with pricey restaurants aren't exactly resonant with ghost mythos.

              The key here is the Shroud: ghosts cannot easily affect mortals where the Shroud is thick, and so to exercise their freedom to the maximum, they congregate where the Shroud is thin. In addition, the more humans are running around, the more dangerous it is for Wraiths, who risk being torn to rags as people walk through them. The more run-down areas of a city offer physical safety and greater cross-Shroud power, two in-world reasons to build Necropoli there.

              There's also this:

              Normally they are found in desolate or decayed areas, but as waves of gentrification swept through cities, many Anacreons moved their operations to historic sites and the like that are less likely to become construction sites overnight. (61)
              That quote reminds us that the fast pace of mortal life (they're literally called the Quick!) disrupts ghost existence. Mortals can't stop building and rebuilding. Won't somebody think of the Fetters?


              • #8
                Thanks. Callishka : the last quote is really interesting. About the ghost story thing, sure, but then, why even bother having a Necropolis in a city (except maybe real huge abandoned-industrial spots, which you would probably find in some US cities, but which would be really more difficult to find in European capitals) ? And a slum, or a nightclub for that matter (both given as examples for haunts) are not "abandoned" (nor, again, not necessarily more desperate than Wall Street, although that would probably be controversial).

                About the Corpus being "torn to rags as people walk through them", Wraith 2nd ed. had an allusion to this at the beginning of the book, but then it seem to implie, in the specific Corpus places (and the "ouch rule"), that your Corpus wouldn't really be affected by that (you can hardly compare bumping into someone as the samething as having a car running you down). W20 should probably take care to give some details on this - as, if Corpus was really affected by people, a sane wraith would run out of Paris and just go to the Verdun's World War's I "red zone".

                I have to mention that my question is both Wraith-centered and Vampire-centered (meaning, I'm trying to define what Paris would feel for wraiths and how it would be in Shadowlands, first of all in order to be able to spook Skinlands dwellers - like, be careful when you're driving in the tunnel under Pont de l'Alma... your car might suddenly start behaviouring strangely...).

                No One of Consequence rue Morgue would certainly make for a cozy haunt (any rule/official stance out there about haunts created by fictional events rather than "real" events - a distinction which shouldn't matter much to Wraith ?

                Sidenote: now is the commemoration of Amoco Cadiz 78's oil-spill. Is there a big relic tanker floating out there?


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Boneguard View Post
                  IIRC, Wraith: The Great War, covered the Paris Necropolis. Sure it's set in WWI, but it could help.
                  Just checked it. It says the Necropolis covers all of Paris, but renegades & heretics can be found in it. The Catacombs are inhabited by Renegades (so, W20 changed that, if they made it the site of the Citadel). It also says that loyalists (Hierarchy) generally "meet in busy cafés or jazz clubs, where large numbers of Quick obscure their prescence - though dodging mortals is tricky in such situations".

                  Dodging mortals is really a silly stuff (to remain polite). Not only would it be "trick in such situations", but completely impossible to stay there for more than 5 minutes.

                  I don't know what W20 has to say on the matter, but I will most certainly not implement this in my game. I'll just assume that wherever mortals walk, wraith are pushed back. However, if they are hitted by a man running really quick, or, worst, by a stampeding human crowd, then they would lose a point of Corpus.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Tazmaniacs View Post

                    Dodging mortals is really a silly stuff (to remain polite). Not only would it be "trick in such situations", but completely impossible to stay there for more than 5 minutes.
                    I think it's reasonable to assume that any such cafe or other place frequented by the Restless has had a ghost presence for a long time, so the Quick there unconsciously know which corners, tables, backrooms to avoid. Certain areas just feel a bit...gloomy and unsettling. It's part of the charm of the establishment! I really like the idea of ghosts and the living sharing the same hang-out spot. The spot just has to reflect the ghostly presence, probably in the form of a long list of haunting stories, strange events, flickering lights, and other quirks that lend the place a historical charm. Or it could be a place that attracts artists and strange characters, or one with a small cadre of dedicated regulars, but which tourists avoid.

                    Anyone who's played WoD games for a while knows that the local vampires, werewolves, and other critters always use the same "booth in the back" to conduct their politics. Why would ghosts be any different? If you try to sit in that booth while the ghosts are there, you just have to put up with cold drafts, flickering lights, and subtle manipulations of your emotions


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Tazmaniacs View Post
                      rue Morgue would certainly make for a cozy haunt (any rule/official stance out there about haunts created by fictional events rather than "real" events - a distinction which shouldn't matter much to Wraith ?
                      Back in the old days, there was sort of an unofficial game among freelancers (and sometimes developers) to see which fictional references could be slipped in as "real" events. I always figured that at one point in the World of Darkness there really was some sort of real murder in the Rue Morgue that was the inspiration for Poe's story. Or perhaps that Poe had some sort of paranatural awareness that made him subconsciously aware of things like that happening in the world (perhaps something that people like Lovecraft, Blackwood, King and others such as Goya or Bosch have shared). Some sort of killing by a vampire or werewolf, perhaps. Or even by an angry ghost or other spirit. It would all depend on how a Storyteller would want to play it.

                      What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                      Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)


                      • #12
                        No One of Consequence I wasn't really meaning about incorporating fictional events as "real" events in WoD (which of course is always an interesting stuff to do), but rather incorporating fictional events as fictional events in WoD, which would however still influence a place (in the sense that beliefs shape Paradigm in Mage, and human & living memories shape the Shadowlands).

                        This would of course become confusing (if Poe's fiction would create a haunt, although no "real" murder took place, the haunt would be very real, and perhaps lead, some years later, to a "real" murder...). Whatever ;-) !


                        • #13
                          An intersting metaphysical (or would that be metafictional in this case?) puzzle. One that sort of bleeds into Changeling territory to some degree. And that does offer one possible idea: That Poe's original story inspired a group of Changeling's to establish a Freehold in Paris as a tribute to Poe and his work. (There apparently isn't an actual Rue Morgue - or Road of the Place Where Corpses are Kept Pending Identification, sad to say.) Said freehold would likely host a sizable number of Sluagh, a kith somewhat famous for both their gothic Addams Family-esque stylings and their connection to the spirits of the dead (and whose kith book was written by Richard Dansky), which would in turn likely attract ghosts, turning it into some sort of combination Haunt/Freehold.

                          What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                          Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)


                          • #14
                            I can imagine that museums make for very good places for the Restless to hang out, even if they usually don't allow for a great deal of influencing the Skinlands.

                            Recently, I visited the Vanderbilt mansion, Biltmore, on vacation, and went on its tour. What I noticed was that, while the building itself was enormous and its rooms often spacious, only a fraction of most rooms were places where people could readily access. To keep people from touching all the historical shit, visitors were restricted to paths defined by velvet ropes, leading them through a winding journey around the house. Some rooms - like certain servants' quarters downstairs - are locked off, with only a plastic window showing a neatly laid out scene.

                            For beings that are disturbed by being run through by the Quick, Wraiths would find fewer locations in the American south more accommodating than Biltmore. For most of the day, they have most of every room to themselves. No visitors are allowed beyond the ropes, so no one is there to bother the dead. Moreover, it's a place with a venerable and emotional history, while also being a place where the Quick frequent, bringing their fresh passions with them. The only time when one of these display areas would get foot traffic is when the people maintaining the site go in to clean and keep things in order. Something which only happens when the visitors aren't there, making this a danger you can set your ghost clock to. The Restless can hang around the rooms, doing business and taking in the pathos, then shuffle out when visiting hours are over. Some places may not get foot traffic at all, or very rarely get it.

                            So I imagine many museums in Paris are somewhat like this. The Wraiths either conduct affairs in cordoned off spots, or else in rooms that people rarely enter.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bluecho View Post
                              I can imagine that museums make for very good places for the Restless to hang out.
                              Hadn't really thinked about it, but it does seem pretty obvious: after all, museums are per se places of remembrance... And private kinky/strange museums (just saw something, IRL, about a Jew who had became one of the largest collector of antisemitic posters & stuff... that would be a creepy stuff - his "True Faith" or just willpower probably being able to put aside all - or most of ? - the far-right shades... a guy fighting against the loss of memory, but also against crazy wraithes... )

                              - and you do have loads of museums in Paris...