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Boston Unveiled: What have you done with it?

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  • Zooroos
    started a topic Boston Unveiled: What have you done with it?

    Boston Unveiled: What have you done with it?

    Hi, everyone!

    In the spirit of sharing and storytelling, what have you done with the Boston supplement?

    Myself, I never ran it, since at the time I felt the Salem Consilium was too much like a kindred princedom to my liking. Maybe it was the presentation, I don't know, it just felt that despite the excellent ideas contained, I wouldn't know where to start. Eventually the mage line started to show its strengths and along came some powerful fiction pieces too, that finally let me grok BU. The real authority in Boston wasn't the Consilium itself, but the Secret Concord: all else was secondary to that unholy alliance of ruthless witches and christian powermongers. Once I started to contemplate the idea of filling the setting with a few more cabals and some 2ed caucus structures, the ideas started to flow again.

    Did any of you expanded the material presented to include other supernatural societies? Did any of you changed parts of the setting-as-written? Have you found any difficulty introducing a particular element of the setting? What about adapting the setting to the 2nd edition new rules and setting changes?

  • Zooroos
    replied
    I'd probably make the temple of Holy Decouring as an Abyssal Verge, but to me Howard's Rock is firmly in the material world, albeit tainted by a widespread abyssal environmental tilt.

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  • Jeremysbrain
    replied
    Now I wonder, under 2ed rules, should Howard`s Rock count as an Abyssal Emenation? Should the Red Word be a Proximi cult? Abyssal Proximi.
    Last edited by Jeremysbrain; 01-24-2020, 09:24 PM.

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  • Jeremysbrain
    replied
    Another consideration. If one of the players generate a Fragment from a Time paradox, the Ebon Noose and White Putnams will know about it and will come to take it and either kill the mage or wipe his memory. It's also possible the Red Word might find out about it and try to retrieve it themselves so they can hide it from the Noose.

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  • Jeremysbrain
    replied
    So here is my rambling attempt to flesh this plot out in a way that actually engages the PCs. I haven't actually read the Numean short stories so this may contradict that or some of the other stuff in the books. Retcon happens.

    In 1906 the Ebon Noose and White Putnams went to war over Salem, both with intention of claiming the ground and lifting the perceived curse.

    Instead they discovered the curse was the Prince of 100,00 Leaves, an Abyssal entity that is trying to re-format history into its own image. They realized they were not strong enough to defeat this entity. So they struck a bargain with it.

    The Compact: The Ebon Noose and the White Putnams agreed to perform oblations in honor of the Prince that would satiate the being, in exchange they get to destroy any new Leaves that appear in our reality and they get the support of the Red Word (to an extent). Creating a truce that maintains the status quo of reality.

    The oblations they have to perform? Providing awakened mages to feed to the Prince at the Temple of Holy Devouring.

    So now the Ebon Noose has to start a trafficking operation and to make this happen has to take control of the Concilium. So they enlist some unlikely allies to further their plans: The Seers and the Tremere.

    The Seers have a recruiting operation that rivals the Emerald Scrolls. The Noose makes a pact with them, "we won't interfere with your operations if you send a couple of newly awakened mages to us each year" The Seers agree in exchange for help getting rid of the Stone Assembly, whose sanctum is on the Seers' backdoor step.

    The Seers take down the Stone Assembly and their allies with the secret help of the Noose and Putnams.

    They also sponsor and set up a group of Libertines that they use to coopt the Emerald Scrolls Labrynth.

    Now they are getting 2 to 5 newly awakened sent to them each year through their trafficking operation. But they can't sacrifice any awakened mage to the Prince, it has to be someone who wants to be sacrificed, someone who begs for it.

    The Noose who control Danvers, make a pact with the Tremere. They set them up in the Danvers Asylum. The kidnapped Initiates are sent to the asylum. The Tremere get to keep one for themselves each year and the rest they torture, gaslight and manipulate until their psyche breaks and they think it is in their best interest to die.

    Once broken the Sacrifice is sent to Howard's Rock, where they are laid on the alter in the Temple of Holy Devouring, where the victim is eaten alive by the Red Word. This rite is performed twice a year.

    By 1935, the Stone Assembly, the Emerald Scroll and most of their allies are destroyed or defunct. The Concilium is gone and the Ebon Noose can operate with impunity. Everything works without a hitch for about 50 years.

    By the 1980s and 90s things start to fall apart. The Nemean comes to power, but he is interested in finding a way to coopt or change the Compact or securing a future for himself with the Prince of 100,000 Leaves. The Tremere of the Asylum fracture and disband, requiring the Noose or the Putnams to "break" the Sacrifices themselves.

    By the present day, the trafficking operation has become so ineffective that they are in danger of not being able to fulfill the terms of the compact. The Seers are their only steady source of Sacrifices now, but they have figured out what the Sacrifices are for and have increased their demands in exchange for their services. The Seers don't believe the Exarchs would ever let the Prince succeed so they don't fear endangering the Compact.

    The Red Word, who have gotten so used to this arrangement, they want to see it continue at any cost. They get desperate and start to recruit Sacrifices themselves by targeting new cabals or kidnapping young members of older cabals.
    Last edited by Jeremysbrain; 01-24-2020, 06:46 PM.

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  • totalgit
    replied
    That spurs me to reread "The unmurdered Man" and "The human heart".
    Last edited by totalgit; 01-24-2020, 04:13 PM.

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  • Mrmdubois
    replied
    Thanks for reminding me what actually went down.

    I agree that the Concord is a bit lackluster. It's supposed to be the central Mystery of Boston, buuuut how do other Mages get all their magical hoodoo up in it? The strict policy of the Noose and the Putnams is to lock everyone else out of getting any information about it at all.

    What are the obvious benefits of the Concord? It seems that being a signatory ensures that your cabal will continue in perpetuity at the reins of power in Boston. Ok, cool...I guess. This is really only beneficial if your players want to be in power. I can think of reasons why that would be the case, you get access to all the other stuff going on in Boston, you probably don't have to worry about the Seers in the universities taking you out, it gives you a platform from which to start shaping the rest of the mystical world because you can be assured your legacy (mundane kind) will last. Most of the time Boston is kind of live and let live though, so as long as you're willing to dodge the Seers, the occasional Tremere, and play nice with your neighbors Boston is pretty open to you to do whatever you want. So you can safely ignore the Concord if you're interested in literally anything else.

    So, how do you make the Concord more engaging? The first thing that comes to mind is that it -must- be used to interfere with your pcs. Seems to happen a lot in Boston anyway, the Nemean has the Mysterium, or at least Khonsu, at his beck and call whether they like it or not. It's probably safe to assume that whoever is a signatory to the Concords basically gets to boss other Mages around in a way that's almost unconscionable in other settings because of how Mage society is generally organized with student/mentor/cabal relationships and the Consilium usually only existing for conflict resolution. The Concord seems to empower its signatories to use the Consilium for more than conflict resolution, making it more like a really, really loose dictatorship. That may have just been the Nemean though since his goal was to basically establish a dictatorship in order to prove how shit Boston was in order to force him to be deposed and cause reform.

    That got a bit rambly, tldr, have the signatories of the Concord interfere with your pcs so that they take an interest in it either to make the interference stop, and/or so they can seize the reins of power.

    Whatever or whoever the third signatory is can be one of the things interfering with your pcs as well. The third signatory is certainly a Mystery unto themselves. Though as presented seems less approachable to me than trying to go through the other two.

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  • Satchel
    replied
    Originally posted by Jeremysbrain View Post
    Is he? I'd doesn't mention it in his entry in the core book.
    Followup from the Unmurdered Man again. He talks to Xaphan/Khonsu in the world of the Prince; I forgot the last part of the Nemean's timeline was a separate piece in the Anthology — the two-page "The Human Heart" covers a conversation between him and the Old Man of the Abyss.

    I cultivated the Consilium’s hate. I wanted them to manage themselves and stay away while I studied the Concord, my Mystery. I crossed the Threshold just before they deposed me, as I had planned. But they imprisoned me in my own mind, before I could reexamine the Concord with a more enlightened eye. I took years to remember who I really was: a Seeker whose Golden Road opens any prison. It was a slender, shimmering thing, this soul-path of mine, yet to be fully formed: a tether to the sky anchored too lightly.

    Its weighty replacement bleeds in my right hand.

    A withered man with my face still babbles under their care. I created a different body and returned to the page containing my Mystery.

    It was perfectly legible. The Secret Concord relied on an emissary: a noble of the 100,000 Leaves, a shaman to keep the worlds apart, and give each one its necessary sacrifices.

    In that moment, I remembered feeding the ‘wolves’ of my youth.

    “Baron Maahes, have you awakened from your dream to come home?” The Old Man rocks forward on his cane, extending a hand. I ignore it and open the door to his hut myself. I whisper syllables that have never been heard in this universe. I have a spell to complete. But first:

    “Was I always the Baron? Or did I make myself the Prince’s when I approached the Threshold?”

    The Old Man shrugs and smirks. “You gave that Mystery the only answer you knew.”

    “That doesn’t answer my question.”

    “You didn’t answer mine just now, Baron, but I can see what it will be.”

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  • Michael
    replied
    Originally posted by Jeremysbrain View Post
    Is he? I'd doesn't mention it in his entry in the core book.
    It doesn't. It's in the story 'The Unmurdered Man' from the Anthology. (I think.)

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  • Jeremysbrain
    replied
    Originally posted by totalgit View Post


    Yup, the concord is between the Putnums and the Noose, they signed it instead of going to war with each other over Salem. Which leads me to believe both must have found something worse for them to pause and sign it right? Its stated as a mystical pact so there has to be bad repercussions for either (and the third signatory) if it breaks right? The whole Concord thing with no explanation really does annoy me, I would rather have even a sidebar of "Here is what the default Concord is" and let me ignore it than tease it but never explain it.

    I've said before that my players didnt give a toss about the concord so luckily i didnt have to come up with wtf it was.

    Isnt the Nemean an abyssal entity changeling (little c) imposter from the princes reality too? Maybe that has something to do with the Concord?

    I did use the Ghuls from one of the blue books (i cant remember which) as similar imposters. The red word's ritual either made everybody forget that the person who was eaten existed OR if they had a doppleganger alive in the Princes reality it appeared instead and being a Ghul (cannibal) they became well respected etc. Once the Red Word realised this, they made a concerted effort to kidnap and replace people in power with Ghul imposters..
    Is he? I'd doesn't mention it in his entry in the core book.

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  • totalgit
    replied
    Originally posted by Michael View Post

    The conflict involving the wendigo is what brings the Prince into the world in the first place. The Secret Concord is created three hundred years later. The connection is that the Concord is drawn up at Salem, which is built on the location where the Noose had their original Sanctum, and where the influence of the Prince touched down.

    Yup, the concord is between the Putnums and the Noose, they signed it instead of going to war with each other over Salem. Which leads me to believe both must have found something worse for them to pause and sign it right? Its stated as a mystical pact so there has to be bad repercussions for either (and the third signatory) if it breaks right? The whole Concord thing with no explanation really does annoy me, I would rather have even a sidebar of "Here is what the default Concord is" and let me ignore it than tease it but never explain it.

    I've said before that my players didnt give a toss about the concord so luckily i didnt have to come up with wtf it was.

    Isnt the Nemean an abyssal entity changeling (little c) imposter from the princes reality too? Maybe that has something to do with the Concord?

    I did use the Ghuls from one of the blue books (i cant remember which) as similar imposters. The red word's ritual either made everybody forget that the person who was eaten existed OR if they had a doppleganger alive in the Princes reality it appeared instead and being a Ghul (cannibal) they became well respected etc. Once the Red Word realised this, they made a concerted effort to kidnap and replace people in power with Ghul imposters..
    Last edited by totalgit; 01-24-2020, 12:33 PM.

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  • Michael
    replied
    Originally posted by Mrmdubois View Post
    Iirc, the Compact was originally formed because the settlers set off a chain of events which led to massive wendigo problems. The Compact allowed them to alter the timeline so that didn’t happen.
    The conflict involving the wendigo is what brings the Prince into the world in the first place. The Secret Concord is created three hundred years later. The connection is that the Concord is drawn up at Salem, which is built on the location where the Noose had their original Sanctum, and where the influence of the Prince touched down.

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  • Jeremysbrain
    replied
    Oh, man. I totally missed that connection. I have some rereading to do.

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  • Mrmdubois
    replied
    Originally posted by Jeremysbrain View Post
    So who do you think was the third signatory of the Secret Compact? My guess is the Seers and the Compact was a collaboration to take down the Stone Assembly.
    I’ve always figured it was the Prince of 1,000 Leaves. Iirc, the Compact was originally formed because the settlers set off a chain of events which led to massive wendigo problems. The Compact allowed them to alter the timeline so that didn’t happen. I assume what the Prince got out of the deal is that the other signatories will take no direct action to prevent the pages necessary to summon it from being assembled. Presumably, though some of the signatories have changed over time, they refuse to renege on the deal because that would mean altering the timeline further via snapback, and/or having to deal with a massive wendigo problem themselves.

    I also wouldn’t put it past the original signatories to have asked for more than just removing the wendigo problem. They probably also got the Stone Assembly snuffed into the bargain. They were in for a penny after all.
    Last edited by Mrmdubois; 01-24-2020, 12:33 AM.

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  • Jeremysbrain
    replied
    So who do you think was the third signatory of the Secret Compact? My guess is the Seers and the Compact was a collaboration to take down the Stone Assembly.

    Leave a comment:

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