No announcement yet.

W:tF Actual Play: The Eater of Names

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Acrozatarim
    Originally posted by viskarenvisla View Post
    Fuckin cool!!! Have you been to Hong Kong yourself? I have, used to live in China for a few years. I imagine HK has a surprising number of Menina there to protect special and holy places from the transformative power of HK's amazing rise. Hunting there must be exhausting with all those hills and the crazy traffic - very cool choice for a setting.
    ​If you don't count being conceived there, then no, I haven't been to Hong Kong myself - closest I've lived is Thailand!

    Originally posted by Deionscribe View Post
    Why do I get the feeling this campaign might somehow feature a certain Firstborn?
    I'm sure I don't know what you mean, sirrah!

    Leave a comment:

  • viskarenvisla
    I like the mix of Cantonese and Mandarin

    Leave a comment:

  • Acrozatarim
    And here's a couple of new rites available in the setting (and I'll probably make them available in other W:tF games I run as well):

    Vex (Wolf Rite ●)
    This petty curse calls upon spirits of misfortune and malevolence to plague whoever has drawn the werewolf's ire.
    Symbols: Fire, venom, violence, the skill that is to be targeted.
    Cost: 1 Essence
    Action: Extended (5 successes; each roll represents 1 minute); resisted by the target's Composure.
    Duration: 1 month
    Success: The Essence used to fuel this rite must come from a locus of hatred, pain, despair or decay. Additionally, the ritemaster must have a possession of the target, a nail clipping, a lock of hair or some other bodily substance from the intended victim. The ritemaster selects a single skill that will be cursed; thereafter, the first time the victim uses that skill in the following month, her result becomes a dramatic failure regardless of what she rolls. The ritemaster immediately knows when this happens. A character may only be the subject of a single vex at a time, and cannot be subjected again until the rite's month of duration has passed.

    Drain the Well (Pack Rite ●●●)
    This rite uses a locus to draw in its Resonance from the surrounding area, draining the Shadow of Essence attuned to its nature. Paradoxically, this ensures the locus surges deep with Essence of that kind; if left untended, it will wash back out again stronger than before.
    Symbols: Water, pain, piercing or draining, the Resonance type.
    Action: Extended (20 successes; each roll represents 10 minutes)
    Duration: 1 month
    Success: The rite must be performed at the site of a locus, draining Resonance into it. This has several effects: spirits and Uratha within 100 yards per dot of the rating of the Locus, or within the entire territory (whichever is larger), take the locus's rating as a penalty to all rolls for Influences that match its Resonance when outside its direct area. The Resonance is reduced in general, removing many incidents of the Resonant Condition across the affected region; draining a locus of pain would cause injuries and aches to inflict less pain, humans and animals will recover faster from harm and may simply not notice minor damage. This will have long-term effects on the Shadow and the material world.
    The ritemaster gains a persistent Ban Condition for the duration of the rite's effect, reflecting the Resonance of the locus; this Condition lifts when the rite ends. If the ritemaster ever violates the ban, the effects of the rite immediately end. If ended via ban violation, or if this rite is not performed on the locus again within a week of its duration ending, the locus becomes empowered for one month as if it were the subject of the Wellspring rite.

    Leave a comment:

  • Acrozatarim
    Now here's the brief I created for the player characters after our character creation session, plus some extra info re packs and the Five Great Packs at the end. You'll note that there's not an aspiration or totem blessing listed for the totem as yet - it's still to be decided.

    Werewolf: the Forsaken – Eater of Names
    Hey all! Based off our discussions during the character creation session, I've put together the following as a first draft of the territory, setting and relevant info. Obviously this is both incomplete (as you haven't completely finished detailing your characters yet) and anything and everything can be changed. I'm not locking anything in here and am happy to modify, fold, spindle and mutilate this stuff as necessary to whatever you'd prefer.

    The Territory – Cherry Gardens and Typhoon Shelter
    The pack's territory is centred around Cherry Gardens Night Market, a night market that lies on the border between Sham Shui Po district (poor, working-class, lots of public housing) and Yau Tsim Mong district (core urban area, very high population density, lots of commercial). Cherry Gardens isn't as large or well-known as Temple Street, but it is still a bustling, busy market through the night hours.

    The night market is the beating heart of the territory, catering to the workers of the two districts – cheap tat, mobile phones, clothes, cooked food, incense and paper offerings, and plenty more besides. The pack also holds:
    - The surrounding residential blocks (shops on ground floors, cramped flats above, several with rooftop slums) up to two streets in each direction.
    - To the west, the ground under the motorway fly-overs and then the waterfront. As well as some storehouses and parks, there are black market dealers and fortune-tellers in the shadow of the motorway.
    - The waterfront is a typhoon shelter, protected by a sea wall and a mixture of industrial and private – floating crane platforms, piles of shipping containers and junk-yards.

    Crime in Cherry Gardens Night Market is low – petty theft, shoplifting and pickpocketing are common, but the market security guards have been aligned with the pack for years and have a reputation for brutality when dealing with real threats. The local triad gang, led by a Red Pole of the 14K Triad called 'Emperor' Koi, wants control of the night market but has never been able to extend his influence over it.

    The Pack (yet to be named)
    History is important to the packs of Hong Kong, although knowledge of the past of the Forsaken is usually rather patchy:
    - Most Kowloon Forsaken hark back to the Salt Eaters, a pack that controlled much of the area in the middle of the second millenium.
    - In the late 1800s, the third bubonic plague wracked China; as a result the Yellow-Feathered Owls, a pack of Bone Shadows and Hunters in Darkness, controlled what is now Sham Shui Po.
    - In 1899, territorial unrest with the five Chinese clans in the area resulted in the creation of the Five Great Packs; the original Cherry Gardens themselves were held by a daughter pack of the Wen, the White Jade pack.
    - After the Japanese occupation, the predecessors of the current pack took over the area. They were not opposed in doing so; the sheer damage done by the occupation had resulted in the deportation or deaths of most of the White Jade and their extended pack.

    Of the pack's previous Uratha, the existing pack members may know of the following:
    - 'Red Shroud' – Bone Shadow, formed pack in aftermath of Japanese occupation – famous for dealing with a terrifying plague of restless ghosts and widely venerated by Uratha across Hong Kong for her accomplishments.
    - Wen Liang – Iron Master, powerful figure amongst the packs in the 60's and 70's, infamous for his involvement in the 1967 riots and his killing of a number of communist ringleaders. A name both respected and feared.
    - Melissa Tsang – Blood Talon, took control of the Cherry Garden Night Market in the 80s by driving out the Sung-Ti, a vicious yao guai and its Fire-Touched Pure followers.

    The recent losses the pack has suffered are:
    - James 'Steeljaw Trap' Liu – Hunter in Darkness Cahalith and member of the Lodge of Seven Venoms. Died five years ago fighting beshilu in the typhoon shelter; he sank a floating crane raft infested with Rat Hosts while he was still onboard.
    - Gwok Mei – Bone Shadow Rahu and member of the Lodge of Death. Left two years ago in response to the Lodge calling a pilgrimage against the Cull in northern China. She has not been heard from since.
    - Mark Callahan-Cheung Iron Master shaman, local landlord and member of the Yau Tsim Mong district council. Died under strange circumstances one month ago, which the pack have had difficulties investigating due to Mark's public position as a councilman and the police and press interest in the case.

    The totem of the pack is the Eight Lanterns Minister, spirit of the Cherry Gardens Night Market. The minister appears in the form of a set of grandiose mandarin ministerial garb, threaded with lines of neon and jangling talismans of commerce, wrapped around a withered but strong frame. Its face is concealed behind a veil, but seems to emanate a gentle glow. Lanterns hang from a frame of lacquered wood that floats behind its shoulders; the colours of the lanterns often indicate the spirit's mood.

    The Eight Lanterns Minister has served the pack as totem since the 1980s, its fortunes waxing and waning over that time. It is devious, smart and opportunistic. The Minister is a very lowly spirit noble, with a paltry court of lesser spirits of the market at its beck and call; it in turn is the vassal of the spirit noble of Temple Street Night Market, which has caused some friction with the Wen over the years.

    Eight Lanterns Minister (Usufunsugal in the First Tongue)
    Rank 2 night market spirit
    Attributes: Power 2 Finesse 5 Resistance 2
    Willpower: 7
    Essence: 15
    Initiative: 7
    Defence: 2
    Speed: 10
    Size: 5
    Corpus: 7
    Influences: Wealth 1, Light 1
    Numina: Awe, Coin Curse*, Sign
    Coin Curse – New Numina: The spirit may use this power on anyone it witnesses cheating in a trade, making a false deal or forcing a grievously unfair exchange, as long as money of some sort is involved. Coin Curse costs 1 Essence to use, and affects a coin, bank note, cheque or even money existing only as an electronic transfer. For as long as the character possesses that money in any way, they are affected by an increasingly unpleasant withering disease and the moderate Sick Tilt persistently; even if treated, it will return. Throwing or giving away the money ends the effect.
    Manifestations: Twilight Form, Gauntlet Breach, Materialise
    Ban: While the Cherry Gardens shrine of prosperity is damaged or desecrated, the Eight Lanterns Minister cannot leave the night market; if outside the market when the shrine is damaged, it is immediately called back.
    Bane: Glass from broken lights.

    There are several Wolf-Blooded in the pack:
    - Zhongli Hu – 'Auntie' Hu is an elderly fortune-teller and seller of offerings and incense in the night market. She is also a Wolf-Blooded with the Piercing Eyes Tell. Hu was a little girl when Red Shroud ran these streets, claims to have been Wen Liang's mistress, and has certainly lived a storied life.
    - Ko Lei runs the market's security, a sturdy man with a pock-marked face and a quick temper. Lei is a Wolf-Blooded with the Wolf's Meat Tell. He used to be a member of the 14K triad.
    - (Unnamed as yet, Luke's character's mother) – She owns and runs the Hive Bar, just outside the night market. She has the Skinner Tell, and has obviously been mentally scarred by some of what she has seen and done. The older pack members would only reference her past activities obliquely and refuse to give details.
    - (Unnamed as yet, Agena's character's sister) – She took a very different career path to her sister; she is a low-ranking financial auditor in Hong Kong's financial investigative body. Plagued by what she thought were psychiatric problems through her life, it was only since her sister Changed that she discovered the truth – the voices in her head were spirits. She is a Wolf-Blooded with the Waystone Tell.

    There is one rather unusual pack member, a ghost:
    - Michael Jin – a former manager of the Night Market, Michael died in the early 2000s in a horrific murder; a business rival with schemes on the property's future arranged for a construction 'accident' when a large block of concrete fell from scaffolding onto the man. Mister Jin was a client of the pack at the time, who were surprised by the lucidity his ghost retained after death.

    The humans of the pack are varied, and not all fully aware of the nature of the group they're a part of:
    - The exterminators of Yellow Kowloon Pest Control are the employees and associates of Arran's character. Working out of an office and storehouse in the territory, they're perhaps the most 'in the know' of all the humans about the supernatural, and they'd probably be hunters if they hadn't been brought under the wing of the pack. The company was briefly used as a front by a Rat Host, which is what drew the pack's attention.
    - Several of the security guards, Ko Lei's colleagues, are pack members. They know enough to understand that the pack have their back in keeping control of the Night Market, and they like to hang out with pack members to absorb some of the respect and fear that the werewolves are accorded.
    - A half-dozen of the stall vendors are, like the security guards, pack members; they form the Mutual Activity Committee of the market, and the other shopkeepers know they're an 'inner circle' separate from the actual management (who are not pack members).
    - Zhongli Zhuang, or 'Uncle' Zhuang, is an old former Sun Yee On triad member and the husband of Auntie Hu. Despite his age, he still possesses a heavy frame; these days he sells occult tat and the like alongside his wife, but he also keeps an eye on the black market dealers in the area for the pack.
    - Yi Kun, owner of the Yi Healthy Wu Kwan (martial club), is a martial artist trainer who knows enough about the Uratha to understand their role as guardians of the area; he's had a few unpleasant run-ins over the years.

    Other Packs:
    In the nearby vicinity, the pack knows of:
    - The Wen – Yau Ma Tei. The Wen are one of the Five Great Packs; in the current day, they are mostly made up of Iron Masters and Storm Lords. They hold the Temple Street Night Market and several properties across the surrounding area. The Wen are known for their considerable knowledge about the Essence flows through Hong Kong and their influence in the shipping industry.
    - The Sung-Ti – Mong Kok. The Sung-Ti are a largely Fire-Touched pack of Pure holding territory to the north-east of the pack – and they still nurse a grudge over the loss of Cherry Gardens to Melissa Tsang in the 80s. Pitching themselves as judges of certain sins, the Sung-Ti reputedly have significant involvement in both the criminal side of Kowloon and its charities.
    - The Stone Lions – Various. The Stone Lions are mostly Hunters in Darkness who oversee the occult maintenance of Boundary Street, once the limit of Hong Kong. The Lions are a 'daughter pack' of the Liao; they are also rumoured to participate in various sinister rituals to maintain their power.
    - The Eyeless – Sham Shui Po. The Eyeless are a strange and esoteric pack, believed to be a reclusive and likely heretical group of Forsaken. They generally avoid outside contact, but it is known that they pluck their own eyes out for some cultic purpose. Rumour links the Eyeless to the Japanese occupation, and those who would mock them call them the 'Nopera-Bo'.
    - The Two Claw Society – Sham Shui Po. The Two Claw Society are a pack of Bone Shadows and Blood Talons known to be particularly vicious in defending their territory, but also respected as being highly honourable. The Two Claws was created to deal with a horrific Wound resulting from a Japanese concentration camp on their territory – a Wound that still exists despite the pack's best efforts.
    - The Tsen-Kuang – Tsim Sha Tsui. A Pure pack on the south of the peninsula, known to be largely made up of Fire-Touched. The Tsen-Kuang have their claws firmly dug into the flow of migrants moving through Hong Kong, and are rumoured to cavort with Beshilu and other, even fouler denizens of the waterfronts. They are reputed to venerate an entity that they believe is responsible for stealing the Changes of nusuzul in Hong Kong; the Tsen-Kuang believe it to be a judge that weeds out those who are not worthy.

    The Five Great Packs:
    The five pillars of Hong Kong Uratha society, born from agreements forged in 1899 alongside those made between the British colony and the local Chinese Punti clans, are called the Great Packs. Originally, each pack corresponded to the same mortal clan that it took the name of, but in the modern day there is no major link between the Punti clan families and the make-up of the pack in question. Most of the Great Packs are large, powerful and have two tiers amongst their Uratha members. The lower tier of 'nieces' and 'nephews' operate somewhat more like a conventional pack, but the upper tier of 'aunts' and 'uncles' are, oddly, less tightly bound together. The aunts and uncles are mentors, experts, revered elders and the like who focus more on their own matters, loosely connected to the other aunts and uncles but not necessarily very involved in the day-to-day running of the pack's assets. When an aunt or uncle asks for a service, the nephews and nieces are expected to snap to attention, but they are in turn expected not to abuse this authority to any great extent. Each Great Pack has a different system for providing more concrete leadership; the Hou select a single overall leader so that the other upper tier Uratha don't need to be bothered by petty concerns, while the Tang demand regular meetings of their aunts and uncles to ensure co-ordination.

    The Great Packs are heavily tied into the occult fabric of Hong Kong, and possess considerable knowledge, influence and stockpiles of materials. A Lodge's leadership usually comes from Great Pack members. Each possesses an incredibly powerful totem spirit, but the nature of that relationship between pack and totem is closely guarded and outsiders suspect whatever agreement was signed in 1899 plays a heavy part.

    The Five Great Packs are:
    - The Wen – Yau Tsim Mong. Forsaken, mostly Hunters in Darkness and Iron Masters; their totem is the Serpent of Dreams and Bile, a spirit of incense, drugs and pollution. Known for their influence in shipping, narcotics, and their deep occult knowledge. The Wen have long been obsessed with hunting down the source of the Scourge, as they call the phenomenon that blights First Changes, and are known to truck with jiang shi, yao guai and other, stranger entities in their search for the truth.
    - The Hou – Kwun Tong. Pure, Ivory Claws; their totem is Crimson and White Agony, a spirit of salt and pain. Known for their incredible ancestral and bloodline records, as well as their heavy involvement in Hong Kong politics and medical services. The Hou are seen as cruel, cold and clinical; few fates are worse than falling into the hands of a Hou torturer. The Hou claim to be the oldest and most legitimate of all the Five Great Packs, as unlike the other four the Hou already existed prior to 1899; Hou stories have it that they formed when the Punti migrated to Hong Kong in the 1200s, taking over the sacred mantle of an even older pack who were appointed by the Nine Dragons.
    - The Peng – Hongkong Island. Pure, mostly Ivory Claws; their totem is the Thousand Roaring Eyes and Mouths, a spirit of water and destruction. Known for their wealth and the role they play as financial agents for Pure across the world, their foreign contacts and also their martial traditions. The Peng claim that Hong Kong is actually the site on which Wolf was slain by its treacherous children. They are known for undertaking lavish, extravagant rituals offering sacrifices to the spirits and the waters in penance, to which werewolves of all stripes are invited. Despite their outwards expressions of wealth and openness, they're also said to be a hotbed of internal scheming due to the influence of rival spirit lords.
    - The Tang – Hongkong Island. Forsaken, mostly Bone Shadows and Storm Lords; their totem is the Pale Mandarin, a spirit of secrets, knowledge and fear. They are known for their information network and the dirt they're said to hold on every figure of note in Hong Kong, their knowledge of death and the Underworld, and their involvement in urban planning and development. Rumour has it that the Tang have successfully used occult geometries to create paths into the Deep Shadow. A few pieces of particularly bitter hearsay that refuse to die have it that the Tang take their marching orders from packs in Beijing.
    - The Liao – New Territories. Forsaken, mostly Blood Talons; their totem is the Torn Banner, a spirit of change and violence. They are known for their fighting prowess, their trade and manufacture of spiritual goods (including fetishes and talens) and their connections to mainland China. The Liao are generally seen as the most traditionalist and conservative of the Five Great Packs, ironic given the nature of their totem and their own history; they were originally mostly Predator Kings, changing allegiance to the Forsaken via bloody infighting shortly after the Japanese occupation.

    Leave a comment:

  • Acrozatarim
    So, some brief info about the setting!

    Oddities of Hong Kong
    - Something steals the First Change of the majority of nusuzul. At the moment of the Change, they have their newfound nature torn out of them by an unknown force, leaving them as normal humans suffering a psychotic break – even former Wolf-Blooded have their inheritance stripped from them at this moment.

    - The territories of Hong Kong are a complete patchwork between the different factions. There are no solid battle lines between Pure and Forsaken, and the vertical nature of the urban landscape means that even a small scrap of land can be more than enough to patrol for most packs. The Shadow reflection of the city sees a spiritual ecosystem that is just as confused and turbulent.

    - Due to the sheer population density and the patchwork nature of the territories, Hong Kong packs have strong traditions about hospitality and allowances for crossing another pack's turf – even between Pure and Forsaken.

    - There are no Protectorates in Hong Kong. The closest to any sort of formal structure are the Five Great Packs – the Wen, Hou, Peng, Tang and Liao, formed from amongst the Uratha of the mortal clans of the area in 1899. The Great Packs are probably the largest and most influential of the city, but with respect comes responsibility, and they are expected to provide aid and guidance to other werewolves. These expectations, again, cross factional lines.

    - Tribes and allegiances to Pure and Forsaken are important, but Hong Kong also plays host to a number of strange packs allied to neither faction, packs amongst foreign immigrant populations with odd practices and traditions, and a focus on Lodges. The sheer density of the city can make the patchwork of territories confusing and Tribes rarely organise on a wide scale, but Lodge connections matter and underpin much of the social fabric of Hong Kong.

    - With so much movement in and out of Hong Kong, its transitional position in the world (geographically, politically and symbolically) and its possession of so many layers and shadows that even the werewolves cannot plumb them all, the city is a hotbed for weirdness and occult conspiracies. Yao guai and jiang shi slither through the darkness, hungry ghosts and watery shades prowl at the fringes, and now the forces of the dreaded Cull are preparing to assault the borders of the territory – something that has both Pure and Forsaken alike on edge.

    - Local Uratha lore has it that, in some past age, Hong Kong was the site of a meeting between the Nine Dragons – held to be the eight Firstborn of the Pure and the Forsaken, and a last figure of disputed nature. Some believe it was one of the first Chinese emperors. It was this gathering of beings of incredible power that, it is claimed, is responsible for the strong currents of Essence that pour through the region's Shadow even today.

    - The chenghuanshen, the city-spirit of Hong Kong, definitely exists – but its nature is not entirely clear. It may actually be a consciousness split across a number of powerful urban spirits, and seems quite capable of fighting with itself as much as any other spirit nobles of the region. Furthermore, it has a long-running feud with the spirits of the mountains and the peaks.

    The Pack
    We don't have a name for the player character pack just yet, but it's not a new creation – rather, it's an existing one where the older pack members have slowly died off or departed under various circumstances. The territory is situated in and around a fictional night market on the border between the Sham Shui Po and Yau Tsim Mong districts on Kowloon peninsula, Cherry Gardens. Player character pack members are:

    - Red Lantern Widow, Bone Shadow Elodoth, formerly wife of an up and coming politician until she killed him during her First Change.

    - Lucky Rat, Hunter in Darkness Rahu, whose pest control company gives him an overwatch on Beshilu activity in the area.

    - Wang Lee, Bone Shadow Irraka, the youngest of the pack members and something of a street rat.

    - Lao Min, newly-Changed Ithaeur, straight-A's university student who has just had her life turned upside down – oh, and she is an Embodiment of a Firstborn, namely Death Wolf.

    Lao Min is a bit of a novelty for me - I've not actually run a game starting just after a First Change with a character who is having to be taught everything from the basics on up.

    Character Creation
    - Due to the phenomenon that tries to steal the power of the First Change, only the toughest of Hong Kong nusuzul actually become werewolves. As such, I gave each character a bonus dot in their choice of one of the Resistance stats.

    - The native languages of the PCs is all Cantonese, but several bought the Language dots to be multilingual.

    - I gave everyone 5 bonus Experiences. For the three existing pack members, this represents that they have been werewolves for a while. For Lao Min, she's got the XP banked to spend at a later date once the player is comfortable with the setting and system.

    - Unusually for my games, the pack are starting with a certain assumed level of control over the Shadow of their little territory (see the Paris game, where the pack couldn't even get round a corner in the Shadow from their base of operations without ending up getting in a fight with belligerent spirits). This is due to the pack having been around for a while.

    Leave a comment:

  • Deionscribe
    Why do I get the feeling this campaign might somehow feature a certain Firstborn?

    Leave a comment:

  • viskarenvisla
    Fuckin cool!!! Have you been to Hong Kong yourself? I have, used to live in China for a few years. I imagine HK has a surprising number of Menina there to protect special and holy places from the transformative power of HK's amazing rise. Hunting there must be exhausting with all those hills and the crazy traffic - very cool choice for a setting.
    Last edited by viskarenvisla; 07-03-2016, 05:33 PM.

    Leave a comment:

  • Acrozatarim
    And here's the first episode, now up!

    ​I'll be posting info here that should help some of the details make more sense

    Leave a comment: