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  • Ideas for a vampire setting

    Hey guys been writing up a vampire game for some new players (they've played dnd, just never played a WoD game before) and thought I'd throw my setting up on here for some ideas or suggestions to make it better. I've ran a vampire game before but I worry about my story ideas etc. So I shall get started and explain my vision and ideas.

    London, August 1st 2017

    World events are as they've been in real life, so London terror attacks and what not have happened and the whole Brexit move is in effect.

    Will be starting my players off as humans so I can portray being turned into a vampire for them. They will progress through being a ghoul with their sires before they actually turn into a vampire. Player wise I've got an interesting group, I've got a Mekhet curator who works at the British museum and is inclinded towards occult writings and lost untranslated texts and has now drawn the attention of a certain Dragon member due to her work. I've got a Deave Mr Wolfe style character who works as a solver for crime organisations and who is obsessed with finding her fathers killer (turns out it's one of the guys she now works for). An MMA fighter gangrel who's about to start his debut match but will unfortunately run afoul of a werewolf underground match fixing ring and pay the price. A Mekhet thief who works Camden market looking for marks but has stumbled upon someone else's territory (essential a vampire Fagan) and is about to be offered a deal. And then I have a player who's been umming and ahhing about what she wants to play. I believe it is a Ventrue trust fund heiresses who is stuck up, rude and about to get stung.

    The over arching story line is the Cull, it is the 250th year since the previous one and now it's time has come. But I have put a twist on it. In time forgotten (to the 'elder' kindred of London anyway) the kindred of London were all cursed by a young but promising mage named Soothsayer for the crimes they committed against the mortals and against his family. He cursed them that they would all perish for their general disregard for life, and basic decency. The kindred scoffed at his words, such is the arrogance of vampires.

    For the next 30 years, Soothsayer travelled the world searching for a way to bring his words to bear fruit. Mage scholars, supernal creatures and the stranger things that all go bump in the night suggested he search Rome, when he could get them to talk to him. Upon travelling to Rome he found a horror he never meant to disturb, the birds of dis.

    Speaking to these creatures that reviled the fact even the awakened were moral creatures beholden to humanity, they refused to assist him. Through the skin of his teeth and the aid of some of his travelling companions, whom sadly a but two passed away during their escape, they managed to leave Rome and swore never to return. Finally giving up on an option that could be explored through the material world, he sought assitance from the other creatures of magic.

    Essentially the mage Soothsayer has made a deal with an aeon, something else etc that will allow the curse to happen every 250 years with it changing so they can't figure it out or stop it so easily.

    The Cull this time around is an Ordo Dracul Experiment that went horribly wrong, creating a kind of Draugr that can infect other vampires with his bite. Think Blade 2 storyline. System wise it will be when bitten, roll once per week 10 minus your blood potency. A success equals no drop in humanity, whilst an exceptional means skip the next roll. A failure means a drop in humanity, and an exceptional gives the drop aswell as a number of conditions (think wanton, megalomania, insane, shaken etc).

    For story hooks I've got a vampire who managed to escape the previous Cull by listening to the stories and reading the records of previous kindred. I've got the Fagan vampire. I've also got the old school stylish but rough London Gangsters which are being portrayed by the Venture and the Invictus. And then to reflect the changing state of London we also have a chavvy, youthful gang mostly comprised of Gangrel of the Carthian movement who are trying to just kill off the old regime of vampires so the new blood can take over. No negotiation style. The city is also split into the over city and the underground, with the Cull starting in the underground and spilling over the over citywhich will cause problems for vampires. And then finally I also have an ordo cult who believe they've found a source of blood that is self sustaining, bond free blood which feeds older kindred. This is a brain dead ghoul who is claimed by a spirit of life on a locus of healing. It is kept dormant because of th ghoul being brain dead and the spirit trying to heal it, that's where the 'free self sustaining' blood they have...... bad times if it ever wakes up as it's actually the strongest thing in ththe city and it could go badly..... and then some werewolves hunting down this particular spirit...

    So that's all I've got for now, we start in two weeks time and any suggestions, questions and help would be amazing!

  • #2
    Umm, not a bad idea for a movie, but are you sure you want your players to lose their characters because they failed in a single combat turn?

    I mean, in a movie like 28 Days Later you go in knowing that any character... indeed most of the characters... are likely to be dead or turned by the end of the movie, but the players signed up for a game in which immortality, or a least extended longevity, was part of the deal.

    At some point you will have the moment when a selfish heiress, obsessed scholar, or murder investigator fails a single roll and... oops!... you've been culled by that one bite! Learning that money isn't everything? Making a major breakthrough in translating a previously indecipherable language? Finding your father's killer? Nope, I don't like those goals. You've been culled. Here are your condition cards; I'd say you have, oh, six months until you are a raving lunatic. Would you like some new character sheets now or then?

    It might not be totally unfair for the MMA fighter, since succeeding in every combat is his thing. But, for the rest. it's kind of heavy handed railroading. They should at least have some reasonably obvious way to avoid the culling, or it should be tied, in some way, to natural consequences of their actions.

    Ideally, if a character is going to be killed - or changed so much as to effectively be killed - it should be the sort of situation where afterward the player says, "Yikes. How did I miss that? The warning signs and means of avoidance were everywhere."

    Maybe make the infection spread through more personal choices.

    Like, what if it becomes known that if you drink the blood of a certain mortal vessel you get not just blood, but an additional dot in a discipline. Wow! Who would say no to that? Except, there's a catch: every time you drink, you must roll Resolve or lose half your Humanity. High powered vampire combat would tear the city apart, while everyone's Humanity plummets. Anyone who refuses to take advantage is at risk of being overwhelmed by the suddenly uber-powerful rivals.

    Maybe the heiress wants to up her Dominate "just to seal this one deal". Maybe the scholar just needs a smidge more Auspex to crack that codex. After a while, though, who can say no to one more hit?

    If you are going to run a TPK, make it the party's choice.

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    • #3
      If you want to keep your Draugr's infectious bite without running a TPK, just play it that the Draugr has to 'kill' the Vampire to infect it. Instead of turning to ash they turn into another supercharged Draugr. You can even give it combat advantages when using its bite to reflect a changed jaw structure.
      ‚ÄčThis would give your players a chance to survive a violent encounter without eliminating the threat such a creature holds to their society as a whole.
      ‚ÄčIt also helps that a player who loses his character to its attack was going to lose it anyway.

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