Saturday, January 16, 2016

Night at the Opera part 2 -- Solo Vampire -- 4th Session

In the last part, Andrei cut a deal with Capone and was looking for a way to end the incipient gang war between the Italian Mafia and the Bloods for ultimate control over the Russian Mob. Andrei was busy tracking down information on his rival, Kasmir, when a hitman struck at one of his allies. After some quick thinking and luck (and a GM who didn't understand how combat works), Andrei was able to dispatch the hitman. But now, the threat of an all out street war is closer than ever...

The crowd in the club, of course, freaks the hell out. Multiple sub machine gun bursts, and two superpowered (well, slightly...Potence 1) bad asses tossing each other around. Chaos erupts, but fortunately the police in Chicago are notoriously slow to respond. Andrei attempts to walk out casually, and has to make a Charisma + Stealth roll to get out with the crowd. He succeeds. Sergei got out on his own, to his bodyguard/driver waiting out back. Andrei makes sure that he'll be taken to a doctor, and then gets the hell out of the area.

The Chaos Factor increases to 7--Andrei won the fight, but it was messy, and brutal, and he certainly wasn't in control. He also burned a lot of blood, and needs to heal, so it's time to Hunt. While doing so, he gets an Interrupt. It's Irene, and she's "Opposing" "Adversities." She's heard about Kasmir's plans (though not details about the hit), and wants to help. Which makes sense, because she's using Andrei as much, if not more so, than Capone is. As usual, Andrei is the last to know what the hell is going on.

She arranges a meeting with Andrei with one of the dominate leaders of the Mafiya, Viggo. He continues his Hunt for a few hours, and succeeds in acquiring enough to bring his blood pool up to Max. Refreshed and fully healed, Andrei heads to the meeting, and the Chaos Factor drops to 6.

Viggo is very disappointed in Andrei...
Again, a Random event threatens to alter the scene. "PC Negative." "Oppress" "Failure." Despite multiple attempts on Sergei's life and other attacks by the Bloods, Viggo is blaming the violence and discord on Andrei. Viggo, despite being a mortal, seems like he's going to a significant NPC, so I bust out the UNE.

0. Preconceived Facts: Mafiya Boss
1. What is this NPC: Optimistic Stewart
2. He is Comparable to Andrei in power. Well, more powerful on the Streets, but "just" a mortal.
3. Motivations: learn racism, determine secret societies. support science

He's generally a fairly jovial guy, with an emphasis on the "business" part of things. He is a racist ass, though, and believes in the inferiority of certain skin colors, a Jewish global conspiracy, and fringe and junk science that promotes these beliefs.

Andrei has to argue his case to the pissed off Boss, particularly since Viggo had actually authorized the hit on Sergei! Andrei makes a series of challenging social rolls, and even burns two points of Willpower to get some automatic successes, to convince him that Kasmir is the real threat. Viggo isn't willing to buy it, but does, grudgingly, give Andrei a chance to prove his accusations.

Andrei argued his case well, and took some charge of the situation. Chaos Factor drops to 5. As he's leaving, he overhears some of the soldiers arguing about recent events. Seems like there's some major disagreement over which side they should go with.

Here's what I think is going on. The Russian Mob is mainly into smuggling, specifically heroin, weapons, and people. They currently sell to various minor gangs and groups in the Midwest. The Bloods offer a big buyer and distributor for their drugs, while the Mafia offers better "services"--political, financial, etc. They don't understand why the fight is happening, since for a long time the Bloods and the Mafia got along fine. The Mafia is weaker on the streets, but the Bloods also can't provide the "protection" the Italians can. It's currently a fairly civil disagreement among the Russians, but the possibility of a civil war is growing.

Andrei spends the rest of the night talking to his other Contacts and Allies, with no more Random Events. He gets a general overview of Kasmir, and what he's up to, but no ideas on how to get to this guy, how to prove he's allied with the Bloods, or how to stop this conflict. He does find out that he there's a member of Kasmir's crew he knows from around, Stefon (random Contacts roll).  Chaos Factor drops to 4.

He sleeps on it.

Next evening, he goes to visit Sergei and makes sure he's OK. Then, he goes to meet Stefon. First question is, Are they cool? Rather than using Mythic, Andrei rolls Charisma + Streetwise--yeah, they're cool. It's just business, right? So, they talk about what's going on, and Andrei is trying to get anything he can use against Kasmir.

  • Does Stefon know anything that can help him? I say it's Unlikely, and get an Absolutely Not! He's cool with Andrei, but really loyal to Kasmir, and according to him, Kasmir is the second coming of Don Coreleone.

Capone, the bastard who wants everything
for nothing.
Well, that went poorly. Chaos Factor increases to 5. With little help from his own network, Andrei reaches out to Capone. He needs more, damnit! If that fat fool wants him to be able to do anything, he's gotta put some skin in the game. Before the meeting, his beeper (I'm setting this game in the early 90's, apparently) goes off with a message from his mom (random event, "PC Negative" "Expose" "Innocents."). He calls her back, and she wants him to pick up some specific vodka she knows he knows how to get. She's having people over for dinner tomorrow night (and it's quite clear he has no choice regarding his attendance). When she mentions who's coming, he recognized them as family members of those associated with Kasmir's faction. It's not a direct threat, but Andrei gets the message anyway. He needs to end this conflict NOW, before anything happens to his family.

He meets with Capone, and makes a Charisma + Streetwise roll to politely explain his position. With 3 Success, Capone is at least willing to consider.
  • Can Capone help? Very Unlikely, otherwise, why would he need Andrei? Absolutely yes! He can't act directly, but he does know where and when Kasmir will be meeting with Kevin. Which is soon.
Chaos Factor increases to 6 (yeah, Andrei "won" the last scene, but the threat to his family shows how out of control things are going). Andrei rolls Contacts and, yes, there is a regular at the motel who has a top notch night vision camera he can "borrow" for a few hours in exchange for a month of rent-free stays. He then heads over to the meeting, which I decide is happening in a closed park. They're both vampires, so "sitting down and eating" isn't high on their list of priorities.

This looks like a good place for a criminal
conspiracy to meet.
Andrei spends two blood points to increase his Dexterity to 5. Neither Kasmir nor Kevin have Auspex, so I rule that they're relying on bodyguards to keep people away. Andrei rolls Dex + Stealth and gets 4 success versus the guards 2. He gets a decent spot to photograph the two of them together. I have him roll a Perception + Repair roll to determine the quality of the shot. He spends a Willpower and nets 3 success--it's a crisp, clear image. Now, all he has to do is sneak away. Dex+Stealth versus guards Perception+Alertness for 3 vs. 4 ( I KNEW I should have spent Willpower, damnit!)

He makes an awkward noise as he tries to sneak away, and some guards come looking. He tries to walk away casually, but they're not buying it...they come after him and a chase begins. Do Kasmir or KJ get involved? That depends on:
  • Do they think this is a threat to them? I say this is Likely, but no. The two Kindred are unconcerned.
What follows is almost a comedy of errors. Despite having Celerity (and burning it every damn turn), Andrei just can not roll well against the guards. They stay right on his heals for 3 turns, and it's rather pathetic. It's only the use of Celerity that nets him that critical extra success to keep his pursuers off his ass. But, the dice finally turn, and he's able to lose them in some alleys.

Last scene started so well, but at the end, it became a joke, and so Chaos Factor increases to 7.  After burning all that blood, it's back to the Hunt, and thankfully no Random Event happens.

He heads back to the Motel, and gets his Contact to develop the photograph. again no Random Event.

I decide that Andrei is back enough in control to drop the Chaos Factor to 6. Evidence in hand, he heads to the meeting with Viggo. But, Random Events come back--"NPC Action" "Usurp" "Weapons." Kasmir is already there, with his own evidence that Andrei has been working for the Italians all this time. 

Andrei needs to counter this, and the question is, does he know enough about Viggo? He rolls Int + Streetwise, and gets 1 success. He knows Viggo is a racist dick. He argues that it's better to team up with the Italians over the Blacks, and rolls Charisma + Streetwise and gets 4 success. He's defended himself, but there's still a question of:
  • Does Viggo buy Andrei's arguments and align with the Italians? 50/50, and "no."
He may be a racist asshole, but he's also a Steward. "This isn't about black or white, my dear Andrei, it's about green. Business. Business always comes first."  He's willing to entertain both alliances, but wants to see which one will most benefit the Organization--the high risk/high reward alliance with the Bloods, or the slower and safer path with the Mafia. 

Of course, Kasmir is there, and he's got Dominate.
  • Is he going to fuck all this up? 50/50. Nope. Kevin was just earlier giving him shit about the violence, and so he agrees. 
This will be a battle of influence, not blood. For not at least. The war is adjourned, and Andrei now needs to figure out how to be a proper gangster. 

The Vampire Primer

Vampire is a role-playing game in which the players take on the role of vampires in the modern world (Masquerade) or the medieval one (Dar...