Monday, April 8, 2013

NPC's of Charleston, detailed

I was able to get some of my NPC's detailed so far. The Court and the Lord's Proprietor are done, and while I still have the "powers that be" to work on, I'm fairly happy so far. Of course, as I create each one, at least one or two (and sometimes several) other NPC's spring to mind, but I'm deliberately NOT going to work on those yet. I want to wait and see what kind of characters my players come with first before I start creating any new ones.

Now, as I mention in a previous post, I don't worry too much about "statting" up these characters. For one thing, most of them are pretty old and powerful, and could probably wipe the floor with new PC's. But also, the stats can easily come later as needed--what's more important for the game is who they are, what they want, and what they heck they are up to.

I'm not going to post all of them, as that would be a huge post and rather boring. Instead, here's a sampling of what I have so far:

The Prince

Vesey
Birth Name: Denmark Vesey (Telemaque)
Personal Masquerade: Joseph Vesey, a wealthy philanthropist and lawyer
Appearance:a dark skinned and handsome older black man
Role: Prince of Charleston
Theme: Meet the new boss, same as the old boss
Perceived Goal: To crack down on all dissent in the city, unifying it under his control
Actual Goal: To rid himself of the various bonds that have been placed on him, eventually becoming truly free
Haven: has numerous ones throughout the city, but his primary ones are a classic townhome in downtown Charleston, as well as Boone Hall Plantation in Mt. Pleasant (former masters).
Base of Operations: He spends his nights in and around downtown, but isn’t tied down to a particular place. He holds court on the night of the full moon at St. Phillips, but often has other meetings at the old African Methodist Episcopal Church. It is not officially Elysium, but none dare desecrate this place.
Herd: As a Ventrue, Vesey is limited to feeding on ex-cons. Originally, it was former slaves, but it has changed since Emancipation to anyone “freed from bondage.” He uses his influence to keep the “revolving door” of justice going, ensuring he has a large, easy to access herd.
Influence: The most influential Kindred in the city. As Prince, his judgement on the Traditions are unchallengeable, and this influence is growing. He has a core group of dedicated followers willing to enforce his will throughout the city. In mortal affairs, his philanthropy gives him access to numerous people and areas,  as well as  “special consideration” when it comes to politics and the police. Many ambitious public servants are eager to have him as their patron, and few would question giving him favors.
Notes: Once a slave who fought for others freedom, Vesey is now a tyrant. He was embraced shortly after his “execution” and made to serve a cruel Dominator who delighted in tormenting him. Vesey finally made a deal with (someone, not sure if it was the Sabbat, a powerful Mage, or even a Demon) to release him from his bondage. He slew his sire and became a powerful Anarch. He succeeded in slaying the tyrant Robert Mills, and assumed control of his city. He initially sought to bring peace among his kind, and treat all fairly and justly. However, the demands of his position, the compromises and deals he had to make to get where he is, and the deal he made with Someone all conspire to corrupt and warp this once noble man. In recent years he has become less patient and more violent, and increasingly willing to use violence to enforce his rule. He is also starting to withdraw from Kindred affairs, seeking the solace of religion and the belief in Golconda, praying that this miraculous state will finally free him from all of his bonds.

Plots:

  • The Prince has no “official” investigators, and relies on other Kindred bringing issues before his court. He might task the players to look into various events. If they do well, he might grant them “official” status as part of his ongoing attempts to bring the city to heal
  • Strange individuals are wreaking havoc throughout the city, and the Prince is unwilling or unable to respond. They are related to the someone he owes so much to.
  • An ally of the players is trying to “clean up” the streets by imposing stricter sentencing laws. Vesey views this as a direct threat to him and has the ally killed. Will he target the PC’s as well?

One of his advisers
Rhett
Faction:Court
Clan:Ventrue
Birth Name: Rhett Burnett Mayback (goes by Burnett Mayback nowadays)
Personal Masquerade: A powerful, semi-retired lawyer
Appearance: A powerfully built and handsome white man, still youthful despite his graying temples.
Role: Corrupt Adviser
Theme: Serpent in the grass
Perceived Goal: be the power behind the throne
Actual Goal: turn the city into an abattoir
Haven: mansion on the outskirts of downtown
Herd: The fearful. Rhett is drawn to those who are terrified, but it must be of him, personally. He keeps a number of terrified victims locked up beneath his house, but he also has several he is “cultivating”--stalking, sending them threatening messages and pictures, etc.
Base of Operations: He still has an office at Nelson & Scarborough, LLP. But he spends most of his nights either hunting, by the princes side, or doing all he can to forment chaos.
Influence: it is well known that Vesey trusts him, implicitly, and he is often the “gatekeeper” to the Prince.
Notes: Like Damien, he is using his influence over the Prince to make him more violent and dictatorial. Unlike Damien, Rhett does this not to increase his own power, but to pave the way for Gehenna. Whereas Annabelle is Ianna’s protector and servant, Rhett is her devoted follower, and dedicated to turning Charleston into a welcome sacrifice for the Antedulivians.
Plots:

  • Rhett’s hunting targets a mortal a players cares for.
  • If the players come to the Prince with an issue, Rhett will speak to them first, and appear a smiling and sympathetic ally for their cause. Of course, he will “interpret” it for the Prince in the worst way possible, causing a violent overreaction. All the while, he will “do what he can the help” the players.
  • If the players ever discover the truth of Ianna, Rhett will be there most dangerous foe, using subtlety and misdirection to expose and slay the characters. Ideally, they will never know he is there true foe.
One of the Lords Proprietor

Ghazi
Faction:Lords Proprietor (West Ashley)Clan: TremereBirth Name: Ghazi AbuhakemaPersonal Masquerade: Research Professor of Oriental Studies at the College of CharlestonAppearance: a plain looking by charismatic older arabic manRole: Leader of Tremere, Lord of West AshleyTheme: questioning can be dangerousPerceived Goal: Use his absolute authority over his clan to influence and control the rest of the cityActual Goal:establish his basic authority over his warring underlings, discover the truth of the cityHaven:A quiet house in a nice suburb near campusHerd: particularly gifted and scholarly young menBase of Operations: The College of Charleston. The Tremere Chantry is actually located nearby in the lower levels of an office park.Influence: Not as much as many think. The Tremere have relied on “sub-infeudation” to control their territory. Ghazi is new to the city, and many or the locals still doubt his position or his tenure. Still, he is a Lord and head of the Tremere, and none dare refuse a direct order. Also, he’s a crazy powerful mage, so you really shouldn’t mess with him.Notes:Ghazi was turned over a hundred years ago by a British Tremere in Cairo. He has since travelled the world, exploring long forgotten ruins and is close to uncovering the truth of Gehenna. His predecessor Parker had sent disturbing reports to the Clan before his mysterious disappearance. Officially, he was killed by Lupines, but Ghazi is exploring what really happened.
As a powerful but weakly connected Elder, Ghazi could emerge as an ideal patron to the players.
Plots:

    • Ghazi is looking for allies to help him in his investigations. He will test (read: mess with) various young kindred to see who has potential. He can cause all kinds of mischief for the PC’s just to see how well the respond
    • Other Tremere are sick of waiting, and insist on retaliation against the Lupines, potentially starting off a war
    • Various Tremere in-fighting, based on the clans of the PC’s
     


I'm fairly happy with my NPC's so far, so once I finish up the Powers that Be, I'm going to go back to the neighborhoods and give them a bit more personality and color. After that, I'll be ready to work on the first story!

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