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  • #61
    Originally posted by espritdecalmar View Post
    Just picked up the book. The Beast That Haunts the Blood gave me actual nightmares back in the day, so I'm looking forward to this. I'm not very far in yet, but when the identity of Charity's stalker was revealed, I audibly gasped.
    Not much higher praise than that, quite honestly.



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    • #62
      Forgot to post a preview! Oh no! Well, we'll call this an after work one.

      This is another of our sample Necropoli. Unlike the other four, the Quaint Village has an ambiguous location, other than it being in an isolated part of Scotland. We wanted to include at least one you could more easily use as a template, or just plug in to another country altogether.

      The Quaint Village: Scotland, United Kingdom

      Have you ever driven through a town that just seems wrong? Where all the people are perfectly friendly, the buildings tidy and well-kept, yet something sets your teeth on edge? Maybe it’s how their smiles all seem a little forced, or how instead of times, all the businesses advertise that they close “at sundown.”
      Perhaps you should trust your instincts and not linger too long. Oh, how odd: Your car seems to be out of petrol — but you could have sworn you had plenty in the tank! No matter, you can get more at the station when it opens tomorrow morning.

      You just need somewhere to stay the night.

      Where we came from

      To say we’re off the map is putting it kindly. If it weren’t for the Internet, the rest of the country might’ve forgotten we ever existed. Suffice it to say, not a lot comes in, and not a lot comes out. Rarest of all, though, is when something comes back.

      It was only a few decades ago when Dottie Tonner did just that. Most of us were just kids when she left, thinking she was gonna make it big in some city. Instead, she got killed and turned into the monster she is today. Or maybe she was always this toxic, and it just took dying to bring it out in her. Anyway, she was the first vampire the town had ever seen, and we were… unprepared.

      Dottie doesn’t talk about what happened in the city, like who turned her, or why she came back — none of that. She sure as hell likes being boss, though. She started small: set up shop in the basement of her own home, turned her parents into blood slaves. Her mom’s still around, but her dad offed himself early. Guess he couldn’t cope with what his “little girl” became.

      Dottie’s a nasty piece of work, but she’s smart. She took her time, turning or binding anyone in town with authority until we controlled the whole thing, and she controlled all of us. Every Embrace expanded the Warren, and each new victim meant a new basement or service tunnel added to the maze. Whole town’s compromised now, but it still looks normal up above. You need to dig down to find the rot.

      Who we are tonight

      Dottie moved into the courthouse the minute she could get away with it. It had lots of unused basement space (who needs records?) and she needed somewhere to keep the first dissidents. The barely used cellblock was well-built on that front. The court’s a nice, central location, so when she got the tunnels started, we didn’t have to dig far. We’re a small town, and there’s not a single building that doesn’t have some sort of trapdoor, subbasement, or cellar that our underground home links up to.

      We’re always watching, and people who make too much trouble get a new roommate. We feed and terrorize them until they understand it’s better if they just behave. Pretend there’s nothing wrong, just like everyone else.

      Dottie takes on stubborn cases herself, and the lady enjoys her work. Her pet projects are never really the same afterwards, but they never cause trouble again. Between blood and fear, we pretty much have this town sewn up. Oh, the humans realize something’s wrong, no question. Nothing is open after dark, and everyone knows walking outside at night is an invitation to disappear for hours… or days. They’re not really “missing,” though. We just take them on a little vacation. We do our best to make sure they survive the experience; scared is good, but we don’t want to push them into desperate — that’s how you get torch-wielding mobs.

      Visitors are a whole other matter. Dottie’s been a big fish in a small pond for decades now. She gets bored easy, so outsiders tend to catch her interest. Poor sods. Any tourists who stay the night are hers to play with, and presenting her with a catch is the best way to get on her good side. It’s not just us, either. The townsfolk have figured out if visitors stay overnight, things get just a little less awful for them the next couple weeks. They don’t know it’s because the Queen Bitch of this madhouse is busy scaring said visitors to death for her amusement, but they also don’t ask questions when they vanish in the night, either.
      People who come through town up above are encouraged to stay, or they might run into “car trouble,” or even get arrested on some bullshit charge — anything to keep them overnight. Poor bastards almost never reach wherever it is they were trying to get to, but the rest of us sure appreciate them keeping Dottie busy for a while.

      It’s Dottie’s world, and the rest of us just live in it. Meet her and she seems normal enough, but if she looks at you for too long it feels like a hundred spiders are crawling around inside your skin. Even nastier if she touches you. Worst part? She’s a hugger.

      Secrets and Lies (Excerpt)

      Not all of the population is as under control as Dottie thinks. A group of local teens know how bizarre their town really is, and they’ve been reaching out online to find others with similar experiences. In their desperation, they’re attracting attention from a few groups who would find an isolated town full of vampires very interesting indeed.

      The Quaint Village
      • Heart: The holding cells beneath the courthouse.
      • Focus: Total domination (Control). Residents gain a Beat when they scare a villager into submission, silence someone who’s been asking questions, or otherwise reinforce Dottie’s rule.
      • Benefit: Residents take a +5 rather than +3 when spending Willpower on rolls to cow the locals, whether through social or physical means.
      • Burden: If able, residents must capture overnight visitors and present them to Dottie, without having tasted their blood.
      • Clot: Catacombs
      • Residents of the Quaint Village have access to the Corrupting Influence and Honeycomb Merits.
      -----

      We're getting close to the end of material for me to excerpt; would you all like me to finish off the Necropoli, or preview something from the systems chapter?




      Social justice vampire/freelancer | He/Him

      Actual Play: Vampire: The Requiem – Bloodlines
      Masquiem: Curses of Caine in Requiem 2nd
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      • #63
        You know what I'll say XD


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        • #64
          Originally posted by Second Chances View Post
          You know what I'll say XD
          A vote of one is still a vote!



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          • #65
            Is there any new books in the making? Like, are you planning on writing about all 5 clans? If yes, is there any particular order you'll follow? (Are the Ventrue close?)


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            • #66
              Originally posted by Horodrigo View Post
              Is there any new books in the making? Like, are you planning on writing about all 5 clans? If yes, is there any particular order you'll follow? (Are the Ventrue close?)
              Yep! The Ventrue book is up next! In fact, I’m working on my Malkavia write up today.

              Order is:

              Mekhet
              Nosferatu
              Ventrue
              Daeva
              Gangrel

              (We’re working in, uh, looping alphabetical order.)

              After that, we’ll see what the plan is. Maybe a book of lost clans, maybe finally getting around to Bloodlines: The Ageless (that turned out to be a much bigger project than I first conceived.) Or maybe something non-Requiem.



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              • #67
                A Wednesday excerpt!

                Not much commentary on this one. This is another of Second Chances wonderful Necropoli, and it offers a wide variety of hooks for Requiem for Rome fans:

                The Lost Necropolis: Tarquinia, Italy

                Western Vampires look to Italy as the All Night Society’s birthplace, but Rome’s legacy doesn’t enamor everyone. Some Kindred remember their forebears stalked the night before the Camarilla rose. In Tarquinia, the Haunts work to tear down Rome’s historical façade, but they may end up going down with it.

                Where we came from

                Fuck Rome and fuck the Romans. Whether you call our city Tarchuna, Corneto, or Tarquinia, we remember where we came from, and just how much Rome stole from us. European Kindred hate each other, yet half of them are in a mutual circle-jerk over how glorious the Camarilla was, conveniently forgetting the Romans were thieves and killers. Yes, I know we’re all thieves and killers. That’s not the point. We’re honest about what we are, but the Camarilla? They pretended to be more than the monsters, and vampires are still pretending they were better than everyone else.

                The Etruscans, our ancestors, created the first Necropolis, and we Haunts hid in its shadows. I won’t lie and say the times were all good, but our forefathers had something unique that belonged to them, and them alone. Then Rome started growing, leeching culture and lives away from the other Italian tribes. When Etruria finally fell, the Legio Mortuum pillaged our tombs, and the Julii convinced the weakest Haunts to join them and create the fiction of the Roman Necropolis. Those who refused, they staked to the mountainside to greet Apollo.

                I want to be very clear about this next bit: Fuck Mussolini too. That said, when he started renaming places to invoke the Empire, at least he had the decency to pick an Etruscan name. Yeah, the Tarquinii were Roman kings, but they were an Etruscan line. It was about the same time we found the caverns into the old Warren — the secret library the Julii never purged.

                Who we are tonight

                Tonight, Tarquinia’s Haunts are a Kindred nation apart. Want to know how much restoring our history has changed things? The Invictus and Carthians are working together! Both want to break the Roman stranglehold on our imagination; the Establishment wants Tarquins — not Romans — to rule Tarquinia, while the Firebrands insist fixating on an imperial past prevents us from adapting to the present. If our Etruscan legacy can mend that divide, imagine its potential for the rest of the All Nights Society.

                Of course, when I say we’re a nation apart, I mean the Necropolis. We Haunts reclaimed our past, but the others refuse to see the truth, beguiled as they are by the Camarilla’s beautiful lie. We are harsh, and we are ugly, but that’s what it takes to see the truth. So we sit amongst our tomes, working together to devise a better domain, even if it doesn’t reach beyond our Warren. One night, the truth will be free, and when that dusk comes, we’ll be ready. Roma delenda est, assholes.

                Secrets and Lies (Excerpt)

                A ghost claiming to be the shade of Tarquin the Proud, the last king of Rome, guards the Lost Necropolis. The Ordo Dracul are skeptical Tarquin’s shade could have persisted for so long, but the ghost is a useful guardian, so they humor its claims. Unknowingly, the vampires got more than they bargained for, as a masked ghost claiming to be Lucius Junius Brutus hunts Tarquin, hoping to drag him back to Tartarus.

                Residents (Excerpt)

                Leinth, Welcoming Face: Tarquinia’s Acolyte Hierophant is Leinth, who builds her cult to reflect the Etruscan mythology the Romans appropriated and erased. The majority of her Acolytes are Haunts, but she welcomes all clans into the fold, putting her at odds with more conservative Nosferatu, who feel the other clans were complicit in Rome’s crimes. Worse, she allows these non-Nosferatu into her section of the Necropolis, violating its sacred boundary. So far, Leinth and her critics have only exchanged harsh words, but the Necropolis will face civil war if tensions continue to escalate.

                The Lost Necropolis
                • Heart: Etruscan burial chambers beneath the library.
                • Focus: End the myth of the Roman golden age (Sabotage). Residents gain a Beat for vandalizing or destroying Roman artifacts, or engaging in violence over the legacy of the Camarilla.
                • Benefit: Residents add +5 rather than +3 when spending Willpower to subvert another vampire’s authority.
                • Burden: Always challenge myths of past glory and golden ages.
                • Clot: Necropolis Specter (“Tarquin the Proud”)
                • Residents of the Lost Necropolis have access to the Corrupting Influence and Necropolis Arsenal Merits.
                -----

                Tomorrow, let's take a trip to Popobawa's Roost in Dar es Salaam. And on Friday, we'll have one final big excerpt with The Rusted Graveyard.



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                Actual Play: Vampire: The Requiem – Bloodlines
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                • #68
                  One last question (due to some complications, I have not been able to aquire the book yet). Are Necropolises purely a cultural thing among the Nosferatu, or are they mystical in some way (or even just pseudo mystical). If the latter, why the change from cultural to something more?

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                  • #69
                    Originally posted by Primordial newcomer View Post
                    One last question (due to some complications, I have not been able to aquire the book yet). Are Necropolises purely a cultural thing among the Nosferatu, or are they mystical in some way (or even just pseudo mystical). If the latter, why the change from cultural to something more?
                    Mostly cultural, sometimes supernatural. A Warren is usually a social/political affair: it's something the clan got together to form, and the mechanics we provide in the book are just a way of putting numbers on it. For instance, the Quaint Village (above) doesn't have anything occult going on. However, some Necropoli do have supernaturally enforced Benefits and Burdens, or take on strange aspects in the form of Clots, or are built over mysterious places. Vampires in and of themselves are magical beings too, and sometimes the presence of Vitae can corrupt an area.

                    That being said, the basic concept of Warrens isn't a supernatural phenomenon like, for example, a mage's Demesne.



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                    • #70
                      Originally posted by Yossarian View Post

                      Mostly cultural, sometimes supernatural. A Warren is usually a social/political affair: it's something the clan got together to form, and the mechanics we provide in the book are just a way of putting numbers on it. For instance, the Quaint Village (above) doesn't have anything occult going on. However, some Necropoli do have supernaturally enforced Benefits and Burdens, or take on strange aspects in the form of Clots, or are built over mysterious places. Vampires in and of themselves are magical beings too, and sometimes the presence of Vitae can corrupt an area.

                      That being said, the basic concept of Warrens isn't a supernatural phenomenon like, for example, a mage's Demesne.
                      Ahh ok, thank you! I'm sorry for the hold up, but I promise I will get the book, I love your (and @Second Chances) work!

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                      • #71
                        Originally posted by Yossarian View Post
                        After that, we’ll see what the plan is. Maybe a book of lost clans, maybe finally getting around to Bloodlines: The Ageless (that turned out to be a much bigger project than I first conceived.) Or maybe something non-Requiem.
                        I know it's going to be a long while before you get the clanbooks done, and I don't want to stop you if you'd rather do something else at that point, but I want it to be noted that I'd kill for a lost clans book.

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                        • #72
                          Originally posted by Dark Lord Potato View Post
                          I know it's going to be a long while before you get the clanbooks done, and I don't want to stop you if you'd rather do something else at that point, but I want it to be noted that I'd kill for a lost clans book.
                          So, just a little preview of my thinking on that, it would probably be similar to our clan book updates, but with bloodlines from a bunch of the canonical lost clans. Then we'd have a few optional lost clans, new to the book. But that's a ways off...
                          Last edited by Yossarian; 01-28-2021, 02:45 AM.



                          Social justice vampire/freelancer | He/Him

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                          • #73
                            Originally posted by Yossarian View Post
                            Nowhere Men: Stalkers of Shades
                            Having finally picked up the book, these things were definitely my favorite bit. I was also pleasantly surprised by the updated system for the flaw mechanics in Beast that Haunts the Blood, especially the advice given on how to broaden it so that the other Clans can play, too. Good stuff.

                            And of course, the updated the Necropolis rules are very cool. Time to write new versions of the Necropolis Merits for my Caporetti and Telamones conversions...


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                            • #74
                              Originally posted by SomethingFishy View Post

                              Having finally picked up the book, these things were definitely my favorite bit. I was also pleasantly surprised by the updated system for the flaw mechanics in Beast that Haunts the Blood, especially the advice given on how to broaden it so that the other Clans can play, too. Good stuff.
                              Thank you! I loved the flaw mechanics in the old book, and doing an update of them was in my outline before I even decided which bloodlines we were doing. The old system is actually pretty solid but, for obvious reasons, in VTR2E it makes a lot more sense to anchor it to Humanity rather than Blood Potency. Humanity is already connected to banes, and moves up and down a lot more than BP. That's a very "me" design choice: I like systems that are accessible to neonate characters. Like, you can't realistically see the height of the old system unless you're playing a game that goes over a looooooong period of time, and even with the new Experiences system, it's still a tall order. The only other really big change in the conversion was no longer applying it to Attributes. I felt it was simultaneously a bit too powerful and a bit too debilitating.

                              And of course, the updated the Necropolis rules are very cool. Time to write new versions of the Necropolis Merits for my Caporetti and Telamones conversions...
                              In my pre-planning for this book, I almost included the Telamones as one of the updated bloodlines, but I ultimately decided they were too close to the Lygos. The Shades needed the update more, in my estimation.

                              Exclusive Necropolis Merits would be a great bloodline gift for the Telamones! Maybe they can create Clots?

                              Anyhow, let's get to the excerpt.

                              Yesterday, I promised to take you on a tour of Popobawa's Roost. Bar none, the Roost the weirdest of the five sample Necropoli. In my outline, I asked for "Something strange and unexpected," and boy did Second Chances deliver on that...

                              Popobawa’s Roost: Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

                              Dar es Salaam is a city on the go, one of the hubs anchoring the Swahili coast. As mortals rise, so do the Haunts. They hide among the kine masquerading as the popobawa, a local cryptid, and have made a good Requiem out of the deceit. They aren’t the only ones, though. As blood slips over grinding gears, the God-Machine’s angels watch the Haunts mutate into something darker and hungrier than before.

                              Where we came from

                              Vampires have hunted the Swahili Coast ever since the first trade boats sailed south along the Indian Ocean. We’ve been here as long as anyone could remember, but our Warren in Dar es Salaam is new. Dar started off small. The socialist government’s Ujamaa policies discouraged urban growth, so the kine stayed in the countryside — something about cities being hotbeds of parasites and capitalist oppressors. That changed in the 80s when Dar’s population went from a couple hundred thousand to a couple million. We saw the apartment buildings rising into the night sky and seized one for our own. We hollowed it out, turning it into our personal stronghold, a place where Haunts could feast in the burgeoning cityscape.

                              In the 90s, mass hysteria gripped the city. An evil spirit known as the popobawa roamed the streets, inciting mass panic in the population. No Kindred has ever reliably reported its existence, but we saw another opportunity and seized it. We weren’t behind the sightings, but come on — a bat-like creature causing fear? That sounds like a Haunt to me, and we are opportunists to the core. We became mapopobawa stalking the night, using the legend to our advantage and giving the Roost its name.

                              Who we are tonight

                              Apparently, we the only mapopobawa in Dar’s shadows. It started when a bunch of neonates swore they spotted humanoid bats flying around one night, monsters made of gears and bleeding oil. Weird enough shit that we thought they might have caught a touch of the old hysteria themselves. Then our elders started seeing them too.

                              At first, we feared the Owls, returned from the pages of Islamic legend once again, but these were something different. Most stalk mortals, driving them mad with fear, but sometimes they appeared to our fellow Kindred, demanding they leave the area. Most of the time they just watched us from afar. It’s unsettling, knowing something is out there with plans for you and yours. Not that we would know anything about that.

                              Then the mutations started. Maybe we’d watched these technological mapopobawa for too long, but whatever the cause, the blood clotted in our veins, metastasizing into cancerous gears beneath our skin. Haunts started becoming the legend we pretended at, growing leathery wings and bizarre growths that stopped us from blending in with the kine. As far as we know, only our Warren is subject to these mutations — if any other Kindred are cursed with them, they hide it well. We need answers; otherwise the Roost really will be home to mapopobawa.

                              Residents (Excerpt)

                              Niku, Masquerade Breech: Niku thinks Kindred society is bullshit, particularly when it comes to the Masquerade. The other clans, the other covenants, they beat the Haunts down just like the colonizers and slavers did all along the Swahili Coast for centuries. He knows other Carthians have good intentions, but they get so caught up in politics and theory that they miss the bigger picture. This is Africa’s century, the time when the booming metropolises will replace helpless villages within the global consciousness. Dar can be on the forefront of the Movement, but it will take the cooperation of Kindred and kine to reach its full potential. Disregarding the Masquerade, Niku’s reached out to shamans and occultists, fostering mortal allies around the Necropolis so that when the revolution begins, the other clans will find themselves outnumbered. If you need to find a psychic or medium, Niku is your bloodsucker, but he needs help staying one step ahead of the Kindred who disapprove of his methods. It’s getting harder to keep things quiet with each passing night, as his allies grow hungrier for the Roost’s secrets.

                              Popobawa's Roost
                              • Heart: The basement of the Roost.
                              • Focus: Provide a safe space for the growing Nosferatu population (Protection). Residents gain a Beat when they defend another Haunt socially or physically, contribute to fortifications in the Roost, or (more recently) fend off attacks from “real” mapopobawa.
                              • Benefit: On rolls drawing on the Popobawa’s legend, residents gain the 8-again quality on Intimidation and Nightmare powers. The latter includes Devotions.
                              • Burden: Use the myth of the popobawa when hunting at least once in a lunar month.
                              • Clot: Uncanny Altar (a piece of Infrastructure disconnected from the God-Machine)
                              • Residents of Popobawa’s Roost have access to the Home Turf and Necropolis Arsenal Merits.
                              -----

                              Tomorrow shall be our final excerpt when we check in on The Rusted Graveyard in Nouadhibou, Mauritania. However, I enjoyed waxing on about the flaws system, so would anyone find it interesting if I did a few development posts? Just reasons why we did one thing or didn't do another, and how things evolved over time. I've been kind of doing that all along, but I'm sure I could come up with more. The Necropolis system had a fair amount of development between drafts, for instance, and I had some specific goals in mind when I decided to base it on lodges.



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                              • #75
                                Originally posted by Yossarian View Post
                                In my pre-planning for this book, I almost included the Telamones as one of the updated bloodlines, but I ultimately decided they were too close to the Lygos. The Shades needed the update more, in my estimation.

                                Exclusive Necropolis Merits would be a great bloodline gift for the Telamones! Maybe they can create Clots?
                                Ooo, I like the sound of that! Like some sort of unholy geometry stuff, like what the Keepers of the Dark have going on, but a lot less focused on keeping things in. I was originally thinking something more like, "they do the existing Necropolis stuff, but better," and I will still post that, but this is a lot more interesting...

                                But yeah, the Lygos definitely needed an update far more.

                                Tomorrow shall be our final excerpt when we check in on The Rusted Graveyard in Nouadhibou, Mauritania. However, I enjoyed waxing on about the flaws system, so would anyone find it interesting if I did a few development posts? Just reasons why we did one thing or didn't do another, and how things evolved over time. I've been kind of doing that all along, but I'm sure I could come up with more. The Necropolis system had a fair amount of development between drafts, for instance, and I had some specific goals in mind when I decided to base it on lodges.
                                I think the development talk is fascinating, personally! I like seeing how and why people make the design decisions they do.


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