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Scharlach Spinnwebe [Nightstalkers, Project O-X, V]

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  • Scharlach Spinnwebe [Nightstalkers, Project O-X, V]

    The Bloody Guild

    [a red, blood dripping cobweb with a black spider at its middle]

    "everything can be bought with blood"

    What is your price?

    The ideal answer is "I don't have one". People usually prefer to see themselves as beings which can not be sold or bought- their thoughts, emotions and very existence are something so important no one has the right to put a price on it. Life are priceless- people are priceless. Yet, history has shown that this may not be the case- while slavery is now illegal as far as the developed world is concerned, it is only a drop in the sea when compared to the the history of mankind. Slaves have been bought and sold since the very beginning of civilization, as some people were considered "more" humans than other. Even now, in those "enlightened times", human traffic goes one. Eventually, a price is not how much a person think he himself is worth- is how much someone is willing to pay. Everything has a price- if you use the right coin.

    And what coin is better than life itself?

    Humanity has invented trade. Humanity has invented money. Humanity has invented slavery. There was no other path but that- after all, a price is the worth of something, and some people simply worth more than the others. Having higher value than others means you have the resources to gain them, and by investing that value you may get profit. That is economy at its very essence. However, the fact that someone has invented something, doesn't mean he has the meanings to use it for its full potential.

    Vampires, for example.

    sure, humans are social beings- but vampires take it to an whole new level. They live for so long, that they can plan their maneuvers years ahead. They hold psychic phenomena which bends the will of the weak and allow themselves get into positions of power. Their very blood is addicting, turning the common men into slaves who would do anything for the next fix- especially when that fix gives you immortal life. Everyone has a price- and vampires just has the best coin to use.

    Monopolies are meant to be broken.

    The Scharlach Spinnwebe was founded in Lubeck, during the days of the Hanseatic League. As the League grew in power, so did the guild, although their trade was quit different than what a usual Hansa- they didn't dealt with amber and fur meant for the rich, but with blood and life meant for the dead. They were founded not by an hunter who saw through the shadows, but by a merchant who danced among them. They didn't searched to light the candle- not unless it was meant to count their shiny coins into the night, and they had a lot of those. After all, many vampires were more than willing to pay for such easy prey, one that no one would miss.

    While things went well for the Bloody Guild, their fate was tied with the League- and as it fell, so did they. Many has lost their property, their resources, their social networks. Worse, apparently the fact they couldn't supply their trade didn't meant the demand has stopped- and the contracts which they signed were still valid. They vampires demanded blood- their blood- and bound by the blood magics of the undead they gave their own friends, families and eventually themselves to feed those hungry monsters.

    That was meant to be the end for the guild- but eventually it was just the beginning. While the vampires used that opportunity in order to erase a supply line they no longer needed and which have turned into more of a liability than a resource, not everyone has went down easily. Some branches of the guild survived, either by finding loopholes in the twisted contracts or never signing such draconian agreements in the first place. Those merchants who survived has bonded together- for many years, they used the living as a coin to pay for the dead. One day, they vowed, the dead would be a coin for the living.

    And eventually, that oath came true.

    It wasn't easy- generation after a generation of merchants and traders has worked together in order to push vampire influence out of their regions. Generation after a generation has worked in order to find a way to exploit the same blood magic which brought the guild to its knees. Generation after a generation has tried to bind the undead to their will- they had to pull a lot of strings, take more loans than one can handle and survive hardships the common merchant didn't even imagined- both mundane and supernatural- but eventually, it paid of. The investment turned into profit, and now all that was left was to reap the fruits of their hard work.

    When the Scharlach Spinnweve rose back from its grave, those few elder vampires who remembered it were suspicious- but most were more than willing to participate. In modern times, a group which dealt with illegal human trade was not a rare thing, and their blood dolls were always available. At first, no one has noticed that there was something strange- some wondered if they were a Shadow Cult of some kind, or an abandoned project of an Invictus elder, but nothing more. Supply and demand was the law, and it was even for the dead.

    And then, the side effects kicked in, and the profits started flowing into the guild like freshly spilled blood.

    It happened too fast for their enemies to adjust- before they even noticed, the guild's clients have turned into property. Masters has became into slaves. And worst than that, in the places under the guild's control, almost every available Blood Doll was tied to the Crimson Spider. Enslaved vampires were used by the guild as no more than another form of property by themselves, forcing them into giving them protection, representation in local Elysiums and even sold them like cattle- there were always people who searched for immortal life without the scarlet strings which bound ghouls to their regents. Of course, by doing so, they simply has traded one master with another- the guild has never did something without gain, and they needed to get merchandise to their Blood Dolls market somehow, right?

    Everything has a price.

    As long as it is paid with blood.

    Status:
    0- you are a new merchant in the ranks of the Crimson Spider, willing to pay any price needed for the promised profits, and the guild decides you worth the investment. You may buy dots in the Blut Munze Endowment. Also, simply by being a member of the conspiracy you get access to close circles of the undead. You enjoy the benefit of a Covenant Status of 1 which could be used at one Covenant to your choice.
    000- you have proved your value to the guild and you are able to loan its influence. You get Resources for 3 dots, and you get an additional Covenant Status dot.
    00000- your reputation as a merchant and a businessman has reached through the Bloody Guild, and many among both the living and the dead are bound to you through blood. You may get a Retainer at 5 dots, usually representing a vampire. Also, your total Covenant Status dots rise to 3 and now may be used at any local Covenant.

    Endowment: Blut Munze (0-00000, special)
    More than gold, gemstones and the small paper pieces called "money", blood has the highest value one can even imagine. For most people, it is simply a wasted potential- but the members of the Bloody Guild has learned how to manipulate it, making it into a powerful tool in order to increasing their control over their so called "costumers", turning buyers into merchandise.

    Each Blut Munze is a different 1-5 merit, revolving around a single Condition. By touching a vessel and spending a Willpower point (including themselves), the hunter may awake the addictive potential of Vitae in the vessel's blood. For a number of hours equal to [Blut Munze], anyone who drinks the target's blood would have that Condition forced upon them for a number of days equal to the dots in the Condition. Only a single Condition may effect the same vessel at the same time, although by drinking the blood from a number of vessels the target may be effected by a number of different Conditions. As one may imagine, Deprived and Swooned are among the most common effects used by the members of the guild, but any Condition- even supernatural one- is available.

    In order to resist the effect of the Endowment, the target must roll [Composure]+[Resolve]+[Supernatural Tolerance] against the hunter's [Blut Munze]+[Status]+[Manipulation]. No one knows why, but it seems that the power which is invoked through the bloody money of the guild use the influence of the hunter herself and place among her members. While being drank directly from the vessel is the best course of action in order for the Condition to take hold, the blood does contain its effects for some time outside of the body. For every 10 minutes the blood was spilled, the effective rating of the Endowment is decreased by 1. In order for the Endowment to take effect, the blood spilled must be equal to one level of Lethal damage. Being targeted by the same Condition before the previous one has ended does not stack, but reset the time needed to wait before the Condition stops to effect. The same from charging a vessel with a Condition.


    My Homebrew Signature- Because I need one. If you use any of it, please share with me how it went!

    On a Dragonlance-reading break. Surprise homebrew may still happen :P
    I now blog in here

  • #2
    Fascinating.

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    • #3
      Their Endowment only works for a few days and don't give them anything like Dominate powers over vampires. How do they control their vampire slaves with it?

      I don't think that it is possible for one man to feed vampire every few days without getting serious health problems. And you probably don't want to make your vampire addicted to some other's person blood.

      Also what stops Deprieved vampire from simply waiting a few days or Swooned vampire from avoiding merchant?

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      • #4
        They don't use themselves to feed the vampires. They use Blood Dolls which they charged with their Conditions. Plus, the vampires don't know they are under the effect of some supernatural power, so they can't "wait it off"- this is not control in the style of Dominate, it is a big network which control the vampire's blood supply and makes them wanting to return for more. After all, a Swooned vampire would want to visit the hunter, and a deprived vampire would not want to wait for a few days.

        This is a social conspiracy, and you are expected to play that side of them. If you don't want to play such a game, then that group is not for you.


        My Homebrew Signature- Because I need one. If you use any of it, please share with me how it went!

        On a Dragonlance-reading break. Surprise homebrew may still happen :P
        I now blog in here

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        • #5
          stupid question, but what's a Blood Doll?

          EDIT: Never mind. Looked it up and as long as it means the same thing in Requiem that it did in Masquerade, I get it.
          Last edited by Master Aquatosic; 12-07-2016, 09:13 PM.


          A god is just a monster you kneel to. - ArcaneArts, Quoting "Fall of Gods"

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          • #6
            Spinning the Bloody Webs
            Here is the thing- the Scharlach Spinnwebe's weapon is a social one. While they have their own measures to defend themselves form their enemies (such as guns, knives, axes, stakes and of course- flamethrowers), the Guild's supernatural leverage against its enemies is their ability to turn enemies into allies and buyers into merchandise. As it stands, in order to gain a new vampire ally, the character must personally invoke the powers of Blut Munze upon the "bait", and wait for the vampire to drink from her. Such a tool may be interesting in order to trap one vampire in your web, but what if you care less about your target and what she feels toward you and more about raw profit, is there another way to deal with the actual network, instead of moving each of the pieces by yourself.

            Why, yes of course!

            The thing about Blut Munze is that it is infecting. Not only the "sources" can spread the web, but also those who drink from them, and those who drink from those who drink from them, and those who drink from those who drink from.. well, you get the deal. Anyway, maintaining such a complicated network of allies and resources is a bit of an headache for the common player, even though that Bloody Web is the main source of power the common Guild's hunter has in her disposal. Sure, you can say that it reflects the amount of headache the hunter would have to deal with, but a good spider is one which only need to pull some strings in order to make the puppets dance. There is a supernatural power behind the Guild, and it channels the hunter's will into the network she has established using money and blood. And the practice of making such vast manipulations is known among the conspiracy's members as "spinning the webs".

            Once per chapter, the player may call for Spinning the Webs roll. In order to do so, the hunter needs to roll for [Highest Blut Munze]+[Manipulation]+[Status: Conspiracy]. For each Success the hunter gets, she gain one Token. If she fails, she lose her hold over her enemies- she lose a number of Tokens equal to her Status, minimum of 0. In case she is supposed to fall bellow zero Tokens, she gets the In Debt Condition (see bellow). In case she gets a Dramatic Failure, something terrible has happened while trying to Spinning the Webs- the hunter lose all of her Tokens and get the In Debt Condition. As long as she has at least one active Source (that is, a person enchanted through one of her Blut Munze), she may preform the roll without penalty. Having 3 active sources grants a +1 modifier to the roll. Having 5 active sources rise that bonus to +2, and having 10 sources rise it to +3. The hunter may also try to Spin the Webs without sources, but it cause -1 modifier for each passing day without sources to maintain the network. In case more days has passed than the character's Endowment, the hunter may not try to Spin the Webs. While the act of drawing resources out of the hunter's Web is immediate, it takes 24 hours for the said resources to be "liquefied", making them usable to the hunter. If in an hurry, the hunter may claim the Tokens she got 12 hours after the roll, but in that case she would only get half of the number of Tokens, and the rest are lost for disturbing the web.

            The number of Token the hunter gains through Spinning the Webs stakes (that is, making another Spinning roll does not remove the number of Tokens she gathered from the previous roll- unless she gets a Dramatic Failure, of course). However, each day which passes after the "liquidation of assets" removes one Token automatically, representing the weakening of the influence of the Endowment upon her targets. At any moment, the hunter may use the Token she got in order to gain access to a Social Merit she desires for a Scene. In order to do so, she has to spend a number of Tokens equal to the Merit's rating she desires. She may also access Merits such as Status: Covenant/ Clan, which most mortals usually can't access. In case that activating the Merit requires another roll, she still has to make that roll. Spent Tokens are lost, no matter if the use of the Merit was Successful or not.

            New Condition: In Debt (Persistent)
            The character has made the wrong bet, believed in the wrong person or otherwise has lost her pants. She has a debt to pay, and it ruins her life. Her Resources rating in considered to be 2 dots lower than her actual rating (minimum of 0). She also suffer from -2 for any roll to deal with the authorities to which she owes the debt, be them legal, criminal or supernatural. Plus, not all such authorities are patient when waiting for their due- and they make take actions to remind her she should pay what she owes.. or else.
            Possible Sources: Dramatic Failure at Spinning the Webs, bets in a casino, losing all of your money at stokes market
            Resolution: paying the debt (in the case of Spinning the Webs, gaining one Token, which is immediately spent in order to cover the Debt)
            Beat: every time your debt gets you in trouble, get a Beat

            Stereotypes:
            Ashwood Abbey: "I wonder what it is like to have so much money- yet so little vision about how to spend it. If they'll focus less about "having fun" and more about doing something useful, they could have their place among us'
            Cheiron Group: "they are willing to pay well for captured vampires, and some of us don't shy from doing business with them- but I'm prefer to invest for the long term than to spend all you got for a dinner and a show"
            Cainte Heresy: "those guys are just a nuisance! You can't believe how much money they cost me! Look, I get you- you hate the bloodsuckers, and so am I- but wouldn't it be better to get something from them before you torch the bastard?"
            Habibi Maa: "self righteous bastards, that's all I can say about them. Not only they steal our Blood Dolls from us and "free them in the name of justice", they have even managed to put some of us on trail for human traffic! they need to think on the end game, not about the pieces we need to sacrifice"
            Pomegranate Deme: "While we both enslave the dead for a profit, I tend to believe that our trade is more profitable- and a lot less dangerous. Sure, we have a legion of angry bloodsuckers waiting for the day we show weakness- but they have ghosts locked in small boxes. Yikes."

            "Oh, come on now! Sit, feel comfortable, have a drink- and then we could talk about business"


            My Homebrew Signature- Because I need one. If you use any of it, please share with me how it went!

            On a Dragonlance-reading break. Surprise homebrew may still happen :P
            I now blog in here

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