Tuesday, August 8, 2017

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 (Dark Ages).  Various supernatural entities exist, and their struggles take place in the shadows. Vampires, in particular, take care to not be noticed by humans, as they are vulnerable during the day. In the Dark Ages, this is a crude and brutal “Silence.” In the modern days, this requires a more delicate and subtle “Masquerade.”

There are six main versions of Vampire. Four for Masquerade (1st, 2nd, Revised, and 20th Anniversary) and three for Dark Ages (Vampire:Dark Ages, Dark Ages: Vampire, and Dark Ages 20th Anniversary), with an official 5th on its way. There’s not a huge difference between the editions (though I talk about some of them here), and I tend to mix them all together. All in all, any such differences are slight, and more a matter of preference.

Kindred: another term for vampire
Kine: the vampires term for humans/mortals.
Clan: vampires are divided into a number of clans, which share certain characteristics. Similar to a “class” in other RPG’s.
Vitae: fancy name for blood, the key to a vampires survival.
Storyteller: Vampire’s name for “Game Master.”
Coterie: Vampire’s name for “party.”
Frenzy: sometimes a vampire can’t control themselves, and they go into pure Flight or Fight mode. They suffer no penalties for being damaged, but have no say in what they kill or where they run to.
Generation: all vampires trace their lineage to a mythical founder (dubbed “Caine” in the Modern Nights), and Generation is how far from that founder they are. “Lower” Generation is better than “higher” generation—a 5th Generation vampire is closer to Caine than a 10th, after all. It also dictates how potentially powerful the characters—those of lower Generation can support more blood, spend it faster, and have the potential to exceed the mechanical limits of the system.
Humanity: In addition to a moral code (see below) the general sense of control and humanness the character possesses. It is intrinsically opposed to the Beast.
Beast: the primal, preternatural killer that lurks inside each vampire, driving them to hunt, feed, kill, and sleep. Nothing but bare necessities matters to the Beast, and balancing its needs and hungers with a characters own desires is a key part of the game, lest they descend into a mindless monstrosity.

Basic Rules
Characters are broadly defined by their Attributes and their Abilities (what other games would simply call “skills”).  There are nine attributes divided into three broad categories: Physical (Strength, Dexterity, Stamina), Social (Charisma, Manipulation, Appearance), and Mental (Perception, Intelligence, Wits).  There are a number of Abilities, but these are still pretty board categories. “Brawl,” for example, covers all sorts of hand to hand combat fighting. Doesn’t matter if you’re a Kung Fu master, a champion boxer, or an Olympic wrestler, Brawl is the key Ability.
All values are rated on a value of 0 to 5, but this is an exponential curve. Someone with a 1 Strength is barely able to move under their power, and most likely needs assistance. Someone with a 5 Strength regularly competes and wins in “world’s strongest man” contests. A 1 in Science is a smart High Schooler. A 5 is a Nobel Laureate.

Attributes and Abilities work together to resolve the vast majority of all challenges in the game. The character declares what they hope to do, and the Storyteller decides which Attribute and which Ability to roll. You add those values together to create a dice pool. You then roll that number of D10’s. The Storyteller decides on the difficulty (the default is 6, but varies based on circumstance). Each result that equals or exceeds that number is treated as a success.  A “1” removes a success. If you roll even a single 1 and no other successes, you botch. If you roll no successes, it’s a failure. 1-2 successes is a “bare minimum,” 3-4 is a “full success,” and 5+ is treated as a “complete success” or a “critical” in other systems.

Certain combinations make sense (such as Dexterity + Stealth for creeping into a building at night), but Abilities and Attributes aren’t linked together. For example, you might roll Charisma + Stealth to blend into a party or Dexterity + Investigation to gather finger prints.

Some rolls are simple—the character rolls against the difficulty and hopes to get at least one success (though sometimes more are required). Example: climbing a wall requires a Dexterity + Athletics roll, and each success indicated 10’ are climbed. Others are opposed, in which two characters roll their dice in opposition to each other. For example, Character A is lying to Character B. Character A would roll Manipulation + Subterfuge opposed by Character B’s roll of Wits + Subterfuge. Whoever gets the most successes wins the contest.

Combat is divided into two types—Close combat (using Melee and Brawl Abilities) and Ranged (using Firearms and Archery). Close combat is resolved with opposed rolls—both sides roll their attacks, and the winner is the one who has the chance to do damage. Ranged is simple roll for each, and the only defense is either being in cover (which increases the difficulty), or divvying for cover (Dexterity + Dodge, with the difficulty being based on how close cover is). Damage is based on the weapon (which includes ones Strength for close combat) and the number of successes one gets on the attack roll. These are combined to form a dice pool, which is rolled against a difficulty of 6. For example, a character successfully hits with a dagger. The dagger does the characters Strength + 1. So, if a character with a 2 Strength barely hit with a dagger, their damage dice pool would be 2 (Strength) + 1 (dagger) + 1 (successes on it) for a total of 4. Each success on damage roll indicate 1 Health Level of damage is inflicted. Most characters have 7 Health Levels. As a character takes more and more damage, they also suffer Wound Penalties which reduce their effective dice pools. These penalties can be ignored when in Frenzy or if a character spends a Willpower Point (see below).  
Vampires and other supernaturals can attempt to Soak the damage, by rolling their Stamina + Armor (and Fortitude, the supernatural Discipline of toughness, if they have it). Mortals can only use their armor. Each success on the soak roll reduces the damage inflicted by one.

Disciplines are the supernatural gifts of the undead, which vary based on ones Clan. Some of the more common ones are:

  • Animalism Communicate with and Control Animals
  • Auspex Supernatural Senses (including aura reading and, later, telepathy)
  • Celerity Supernatural Speed
  • Dominate Mind Control
  • Fortitude Supernatural Toughness
  • Obfuscate Invisibility
  • Potence Supernatural Strength 
  • Presence Supernatural Charisma (including emotion control)
  • Protean Shapechanging
  • Thaumaturgy Magic

Backgrounds are the general term for the rest of the characters life, not covered by the stats. Allies, Contacts, Resources (money) and the like are covered by Backgrounds.

Virtues Vampire is a game of morality and choice, and each character has three virtues which defines their limits—generally Conscience, Self-Control, and Courage. These define the characters limits, and how far are they willing to go, or how well they can hold themselves back. In the tabletop game, these are reactive—players roll them after a character acts. In the Solo game, I often use them proactively—they define what a care will do, or what they can’t bring themselves to do.

Humanity (also Road/Path). The general limit of the characters morality and ethics. Each of these is rated 1-10, each with a corresponding “sin” for each level. For example, Humanity 1 is “the most depraved and inhumane acts” and a 10 is “thinking selfish thoughts.” Humanity changes based on role-playing.  A character has no issues with actions whose sins are above their rating, but most roll Conscience for sins equal to or lower than their current rating.

Willpower is how strong willed a character is. It is generally used for three things. First, to resist certain supernatural abilities, like Dominate (the Discipline of mind control). Secondly, each point of Willpower can be spent to grant a character an automatic success on a roll. Finally, it can be used to ignore wound penalties for one round. Willpower so spent can only be regained by rest (one per day) or by accomplishing a significant and personal goal. Only one point of Willpower can be spent per round.

Bloodpool is, simply, how much blood a character is capable of carrying within themselves. This is generally 10, though those of lower Generation can have significantly larger pools. Each point in the bloodpool is called a blood point. Characters can spend these to wake up in the evening (one point per day spent automatically on waking up), to heal (one blood point heals one Health Level of Damage), to increase their Physical Attributes by one (limited by Generation), and to utilize certain Disciplines (Celerity, or supernatural speed, requires blood, whereas Dominate does not). Most vampires can only spend a single blood point per round, though those of significantly lower generation can spend more.

And that’s the basics. It’s actually a fairly simple and elegant system in play, but if there’s anything I failed to explain clearly, please let me know in the comments below!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Clash of Wills

Clash of Wills is the first part of my attempt to play through the Great World of Darkness Chronicle. The story is told is four sections:


Part One, in which the characters arrive in the County of Galtre

Part Two, in which the characters make decisions, both good and ill

Part Three, in which the final struggle is resolved

Clash of Wills Part Three

This is third and final part of my Solo play through of the Vampire module Clash of Wills.  The Introduction and Characters can be found here. Here are parts one and two.

Scene 8 Night.
The characters awaken, each alone and in darkness. Godfrey casually walks downstairs at the inn, wondering if any others have been around. The innkeeper tearfully tells him the news of what has been happening, and how the entire town is in mourning. Godfrey attempts to convey shock and horror at the events (Manipulation + Acting, Difficulty 6 since he is honestly shocked about the Assessors) and with 4 successes the innkeeper suspects nothing of the noble stranger. Does he wait for the other characters? 50/50: 31—Yes. He’s not sure where the others are, but he knows Johann likes to sleep on his own.

Samuel wakes in the caves beneath the keep. Is he alone? 50/50: 97-- EXCEPTIONAL NO. There is a vigil in place by the monks, as they pray over the Earl’s body. Thanks to his Obfuscate, Samuel is easily able to sneak by them. The module states they are wearing unusual rings, but this is an odd thing to look for, and Samuel lacks the knowledge (Academics) to understand their meaning. I give him a Perception + Alertness roll (4 dice) at a difficulty of 8 to think anything of the monk’s jewelry. He gets 1 success. He thinks it’s odd that they are wearing silver rings, but doesn’t think enough to look more into it. If he sees them again, though, he will look further.

Johann wakes from the earth. He hid within the walls of the castle, and as such is in the center of activity, even as night falls. The first question I have is “is Johann seen as he emerges from the earth?” He’s in a populated and active area, so I say that this is Very Likely: Yes. Someone sees him as he comes out. Who sees him? I roll Mythic, and get “Work Hard/Illness.” One of the peasant workers cleaning the gore from the barracks sees him. Does the worker raise an alarm? Very Likely. I get a Yes, but also a random event: PC positive -- Excitement/Benefits. The peasant rushes to the nearest person of significance, allowing Johann a chance to escape quietly.

He needs to roll a Dexterity + Stealth roll against a difficulty 8 to escape without being seen. He has only 4 dice for this, the blood spent last night no longer being in effect. He gets 1,10,5,10. 1 success, but enough. A few catch a glimpse of a shadowy figure, but none are looking for a creature climbing the walls with speed and ease.

All three of them meet in the inn. None of them offer the others tales of their previous adventures, and none ask the others. They have accomplished their mission for their Lord Joseph, and are ready to leave Galtre.

However, they are not the only players in town. Three other groups are active—the mortals of Galtre, the vampires Karin and Alfred, and Father Julian (and his master, the vampire Remus). All have heard of the events, and all will respond in their own way. What do they do?

Mortals: Neglect Home. The center is gone. Julian is off to his monastery, and DuBois has led what few men who could round up off to the woods to hunt the killers, not realizing they were in the Keep. The rest of the town is just lost.
Karin & Alfred: Arrive Anger. Both went to sleep angry. But when they hear what happened during the day, their rage has no bounds. They set out immediately to confront the coterie. Unlike DuBois, they know exactly who and what they are facing.
Julian & Remus: Change Legal Matters. Julian decides on the easiest solution—they simply forge the Earl’s signature on the will they have, and will challenge the other one in court. They have witnesses that prove the Earl intended to will them his lands, while the PC’s have no one to back them up. In addition, they can easily imply that they killed the Earl, due to the suspicious timing of his death, mere moments after he “signed” the “new will.”

Scene 8
Upon hearing the news of the day, the blood rage comes upon Karin, Alfred, and Lucille. They demand to know where Godfrey is staying, and storm from the castle once they hear the news.  The coterie is at the inn, harnessing their horses, making ready to leave this town.

The characters are in a rough position. Both Samuel and Johann are extremely low on blood, and Godfrey isn’t much of a combatant.  Can the PC’s escape before the confrontation begins? Unlikely: 85 – No

This is a rough scene, but the PC’s have a single Ace up their sleeve—Godfrey is the highest generation vampire in the land, and he has Dominate.

Lucille attacks Samuel. The module fails to give her stats, but her description is of a relatively young, non-combatant Brujah. I use a different NPC (Evelyn from the core) to base her off of. Lucille has a 3 combat pool vs. Samuel’s 7. 3 vs 5 Success. Samuel hits and does 5 levels of damage, of which Lucille soaks 2. A solid hit. Of course, Lucille has Celerity…

Alfred targets Johann. Johann is able to use his claws, as he grew them last night and never retracted them. 7 dice vs 7. 3 success vs 0! Alfred hits and does 5 levels of damage. On top of that, Alfred has Potence, which adds 3 more to the damage, for a total of 8, of which Johann soaks only 3.

Karin, the most powerful of the Nottingham coterie, targets Godfrey. Godfrey will not attack, instead attempting to Dominate the Brujah. These two will have an initiative roll off, Wits + Alertness.  Karin 4 dice vs. Godfreys 3—3 successes vs. 3. They still end up going simultaneously.

First, Karin resolves her attack, which is unopposed. Rolling 8 dice to attack, she accrues 6 successes and inflicts only 2 levels of damage (Seriously: 1,4,4,4,3,10,2,2,3,9,3,10,4), which Godfrey easily soaks.

Locking eyes with his attacker, he attempts to Command her to “Cease this struggle and stop you companions!” He needs to roll Manipulation + Leadership, against a difficulty of Karin’s Willpower (4). This is a key roll, so he will spend a Willpower point to guarantee at least 1 success. He rolls 9,9,5,8,8,10,1. Even with the single 1, it’s more than enough to guarantee her complete obedience.
Each of the three attackers have Celerity, meaning they can attack multiple times in a round. Karin uses her action to call the others off. As Lucille is Blood Bonded to Karin, she obeys immediately. What about Alfred? He loves and respects Karin, but these people have stolen his birthright from under him. In addition, his Nature is Rebel, and is thus unlikely to follow anyone’s orders when he does not wish to. I peg the odds of him obeying to be Very Unlikely. 83 – No. He’ll keep pounding on Johann.

Johann cannot defend him this turn (he already used his single action this round), and so Alfred attacks unopposed with his 7 dice pool. This turn, though, he only scores 2 successes. Of course, he still does 7 levels of damage, up to 10 with his Potence (3). Johann can only soak 3, and so falls to the ground, in torpor.

On the next Celerity action, Karin tackles Alfred. Her nature, Judge, does not make her terribly happy when people directly disobey her. If she had been an Autocrat, she probably would have attacked him.

Godfrey is now properly upset, and demands their obedience, Commanding both Alfred and Karin to stand still and listen to him. He ignores Lucille, rightfully dismissing her as Karin’s peon. He then launches into a full on rant and lecture.

“How DARE you strike down a servant of Our Dark Father, Joseph, he who carried the very Blood of the Savior to these shores! How dare you raise your arms against his servants! How dare you CHALLENGE his servants! How dare you question his eternal WISDOM! You! Boy! You cry and fit about your “birthright” yet you refuse to see the evidence of your body, your own blood. YOU ARE UNBORN. This is no longer your land, any claim to it expired when you passed from the mortal death. And YOU, charlatan, you claim that Nottingham is better ‘suited’ to oversee these lands. They are not for NOTTINGHAM. They are not for any of our kind. The Dark Father has decreed that these lands are to pass away from our kind and into the hands of the mortal King. And who are you, who are any of us, to question the eternal and divinely granted wisdom of Joseph. Did YOU speak with the Savior? Did you wash his body when he lay dead? Did you partake of his eternal blood when he awoke? Are you the one choosen to oversee the world until his return? Nay, you are but a servant of the one who has been placed over us, and to defy him is to defy G-d himself!

“Here is what shall happen next. You, Alfred, once child of Galtre, will return to the Keep. You will end the chaos, and you will publicly acknowledge that your mortal father has deeded the lands to the crown. Then you will leave the land of Galtre. (Command, and again a Willpower point is added to the roll. Godfrey is pushing what Dominate is capable here, but with 5 successes, I’ll say it works). You, Karin, childe of Nottingham. You will take your servant and leave these lands this very moment. You will travel to your Master, where you will make a full report of what happens to those who dare defy the Dark Father, or his chosen servants. You will inform him that the lands have been willed to those the Dark Father has so decided, and that his decisions are not to be challenges, by anyone. Ever. “(Again, he’s pushing things here. Karin may SAY these things, but it doesn’t mean that she believes them or won’t immediately say what she DOES think. In any cases, Godfrey got 7 successes against her Willpower, so she’s at least getting out of the county.)

Having expanded a huge amount of Willpower commanding the older vampires, Godfrey is exhausted (down to 3 out of 8 Willpower), and is ready to leave. Before he does, he visits one of the ladies that Johann rescued the other night, and drinks her dry. While upset that anyone would strike “his” servant, he is quite glad not to have the judgmental Gangrel around for a change. A few hours from the village, he orders Samuel to find a suitable cave and they deposit Johann deep with in, to survive or not as G-d wills it.
Nicholas is far from happy with the results. The characters were to block the Toreador, and through them the Church, from laying claim to these lands. Instead, there is a protracted legal battle to worry about, with Alfred either recanting or reaffirming his initial claims that the PC’s will is legitimate based on what he thinks he can get out of it. But that story is one for lawyers and clerks.
The characters have succeeded enough. Godfrey is recognized as a “proper” Ventrue, though he did not cover himself in glory. Johann is treated a bit better, as he did his duty well in defending Godfrey, and is provided the means to leave the land. Samuel returns to his position of servitude.
Each character receives 5 experience points for the adventure. Had they done better at securing the land and eliminating the Toreador threat, they might have received more.

Clash of Wills Part Two

This is second part of my Solo play through of the Vampire module Clash of Wills.  The Introduction and Characters can be found here.  Part one is here.

Scene 5. Sleep
Dawn is coming soon, and the vampires must seek shelter from the sun harmful light. Where do they seek shelter? 1) Rooms in the Keep, 2) In the catacombs beneath, 3) in the inn, 4) at Jills, 5) burying themselves in the ground.  3. The travel to the inn at Redford, the Maiden of the Mist, and take their rooms. Samuel is to remain awake and let Johann know where they are.
Johann has been gone for a while, and I’m not sure if anything has happened while he was away. Has anything happened with Johann? Chaos Roll 5—yes.

Scene 6 Vengeance is Mine
Rolling on the Mythic tables, I get the following result: PC Negative—Judge Opposition. This could be some NPC “judging” Johann, but I decide to interpret it more personally. It’s a judgement Johann both receives, and enacts. It’s negative because his choices put the entire coterie at risk.

The women are terrified. Not only have they been horribly abused, but now they are forced to travel with the grim and silent stranger. Despite being released from the castle, they are certain that they are DuBois intends further humiliations and torture for them, perhaps even their deaths. Johann attempts to comfort them, making a Charisma + Empathy (4) roll, and gets 8,3,10,9. He succeeds. Despite his harsh baring, there is something about him the women know they can trust. They confess their fear that something worse will happen to them. And Johann knows this is true, more so than even the women know. If DuBois does not get his hands on them, then Godfrey certainly will and Johann knows he is powerless to protect them from his deprivations. But he can punish those who have sinned against these women.

He vows to himself and to God that he will punish those men, no matter the cost.  

But, the night grows late, and dawn is near. He is willing to ignore the threat though, and move on to exact retribution when Samuel sees him. Upon seeing his companion, is Johann willing to put off his judgement? Very Unlikely (25% Chance) 88 -- EXCEPTIONAL NO. The sun will not rise so long as men like that are still alive. He briefly tells Samuel what he is about to do. Will Samuel aid him? 
Unlikely (35% Chance): 24 -- Yes     .

They return to the Keep, where the Earls men have just started to fall into a drunken slumber. There are 2d10 Rounds (result: 8) before dawn breaks.  The will need to be quick, and thorough.

In addition, there is a question of morality. Johann follows the Road of Heaven, which is a very Old Testament style of Faith. One of its sins is “Allowing a crime to go unpunished” and he is certainly in his right to extract judgement on these cruel men, against whom mortal justice is incapable of punishing. Samuel, however, follows Humanity, and for him murdering a man in his sleep is a grave sin, no matter how terrible the man is. He needs to roll his Conscience Virtue to actually commit the act his was willing to do. Success, and his morality gets the better of him. Failure, and he indulges in his blood lust.

He rolls a 1, 4—a BOTCH. Not only does he engage in the slaughter willingly, but he immediately loses a point of Conscience, a point of Humanity, AND gains a Derangement. I roll randomly for this, and get “gambler”—not only will he take chances at the gaming tables, but also take great risks with his own life. This can eventually be overcome, but will cost him a total of (2d10) 9 willpower points to suppress it overtime.

Round 1. They both spend blood and increase their Dexterity. They reach the wall.

Round 2. Samuel activates his Obfuscate, and Johann grows his claws.

Round 3. They need to climb the wall. The crude stone walls are of average difficulty (6 for Samuel, 4 for Johann thanks to claws), and are of 40 feet in height. They will each need to make 4 successes on a Dexterity + Athletics roll to scale this. As time is short, they both spend a Willpower Point to gain a single automatic success.
Samuel (7 Dice): 1,2,3,8,8,6,6. 3 Successes (4, with the 1 reducing the total). With his Willpower Point, he makes it to the top.
Johann (6 Dice): 4,1,3,5,9,6. 3 Successes, but the Willpower allows him to make it.

Round 4. They leap down the wall. Both succeed on their Dexterity + Athletics to do so quietly.

Round 5. The men are passed out in the barracks. Samuel goes to the back to secretly open a window. Johann waits for him.

Round 6. Samuel makes a Dexterity + Legerdemain roll at 8 to open the window quietly (would be higher, but the guards are passed out).   With 9 dice in his pool, Samuel takes the autosuccess—so long as the character has a die pool equal to or higher than the difficulty of the task, he can succeed automatically as if he had rolled 1 success.

Round 7. They enter. They both spend blood to increase their Strength. Johann rolls Dexterity + Stealth (result 1,9,7,6,2), and they are unnoticed by the men. Johann arms himself with Assessor’s swords. The vampires get free attacks on the slumbering men.  They each make Dexterity + Melee rolls against a difficulty of 2, due to the men sleeping.

Johann: 4,8,4,6,5—5 Successes. Damage (14 dice) 2,5,5,2,9,8,6,4,9,5,8,3,8,6—7 health levels are inflicted.
Samuel: 4,4,6,2,9,3,5,9—8 Successes: Damage (16 dice) 1,8,9,1,6,6,8,8,8,9,8,2,7,10,4,4—9 health levels are inflicted.

Since I’m using a variant of 1st Ed rules, where mortals don’t get to soak, and these men aren’t wearing armor, they die from the wounds received. But, do they cry out in fear and pain as their lives are taken from them? Likely: 18 – Yes. Their screams awaken their comrades, who grab their nearest blades to defend themselves.

Round 8 (Dawn breaks). Each vampire must make a Road roll to stay awake. They both spend Willpower to get at least one success.  Both get 3 successes (rolled 2 + Willpower) and can function 3 rounds before needing to roll again. They are now limited to their Road rating for most of their dice pools (damage and soak are not affected). They also both spend Blood to increase their strength further.

Johann (5 dice) vs. Guard (4 Dice)—2 Success vs. 2 Success. The two battle to no effect.
Samuel (7 dice) vs. Guard (4 Dice)—3 Success vs. 3 Success. No effect.

Round 9. Time is running short.  Johann spends blood to increase his Dexterity. Both spend Willpower to get an automatic success on their attacks.

Johann (6 dice) vs Guard (4 Dice)—2 success (with willpower) vs. 3. The guard hits, but Johann is able to soak any damage that gets through.
Samuel (7 dice) vs. Guard (4 Dice)—2 successes (with willpower) vs. 1. Samuel hits! 5 Success. The guard is Mauled (-2 dice pool) but still functioning.

Round 10. They both again spend Willpower.

Johann (6 dice) vs Guard (4 Dice)—4 Successes (with willpower) vs. 3. Johann hits! 7 levels of damage, the guard dies
Samuel (7 dice) vs. Guard (2 Dice)—3 Successes (with willpower) vs 1. Samuel hits. More than enough to finish the mortal.

They stand in a slaughterhouse, covered in blood. Dawn is upon them, and not only are the barracks too poorly constructed to keep out the sun, but others will be here soon. They need to find a place to hide, and to sleep. They both make Road Checks—Samuel gets two successes, while Johann gets 5. Johann is no longer concerned with making further checks, while Samuel gets two rounds of acting under his own will.

The inn is too far away, and so Samuel runs for the safety of the catacombs. He is careful enough to activate his Obfuscate, so that none can see him making his mad run. He lacks Fortitude, and so cannot soak the damage causes by the sun. As it is just now dawn, and the walls provide a deep shadow, he only takes 1 level of damage a round. It takes him two rounds to make the safety of the catacombs, where he loses himself to the Beast and finds the deepest, darkest hole to fall asleep in.
Johann watches his coterie mate leave, and listens for the screams of pain if he is caught. Not hearing anything, he turns to his own needs. The mortals are coming. Is the floor of the barracks dirt? It’s Unlikely (60 – No), and so not the case. And he lacks the time to break the floor open. Instead, he heads out the window Samuel came in, exposing himself to the sun, and just trying to get far enough away. He makes a Dexterity + Stealth roll (7 dice: 1,4,10,9,7,1,8,) and is able to avoid the mortals coming to investigate the barracks. He runs for 1 round, and attempts to soak the suns damage (Stamina + Fortitude, 4 dice) and gets 1 success. He is not severely burned this round. Once far enough away, he spends a round to Inter with the Earth and again successfully soaks the damage. Once complete, he disappears with the ground, safe from the sun’s rays.
And the party sleeps, divided.

Scene 7 Day
Chaos envelops the town and Keep. The Earl is dead, and his four Assessors have been found brutally murdered. During the chaos, no one has time for Jill and her story and strange visitors who drank her blood. None except for Stephen, the smith. He had lost his son to such a predator not too long ago, and while the rest of the community is focused on the Keep, the two of them head into the tavern, armed with stakes and crosses.

Is anyone else at the inn? Unlikely--Yes. The tavern keeper is there, cleaning and prepping his establishment. The two need to get to the room where Godfrey sleeps.  They attempt to sneak by him, and are barely successful in their efforts.  They ascend the stairs, and find the door barred. Stephen sets to work knocking the door down, but the ruckus might awaken Godfrey.

Godfrey has never slept well, even as a mortal. A habit that he carried into his new life. He has the Light Sleeper merit, which allows him to awaken at the first sign of danger, and ignore Road rating during the day. As soon as Stephen slams his frame into the door, Godfrey is awake.

They barge in, and are surprised to see the vampire standing in the room, waiting for them.

What does he do? Malice Tension.

He bids them enter, and inquires what is they wish with him. Stephen and Jill begin to rant about demons and the undead, but Godfrey keeps things calm until they enter. Looking deep at Stephen, he uses his Discipline of Dominate to Command him to enter and take a seat. He is concerned at how Jill was able to leave her farm, but he attempts to Command her as well, and naturally fails due to her True Faith. Does she obey? Unlikely – No. She proclaims herself free of the will of Satan! He then tries to Entrance her, using the Discipline of Presence. He only scores 1 success, but it’s enough to secure her devoted loyalty to Godfrey for at least an hour.

He needs these two to leave, and has no desire to attract any more attention than they already have. But, there is also time to speak with them. He has them tell him why they are there. Stephen refuses to say more than he is compelled too, but Jill eagerly fills Godfrey in on what they wanted.

Godfrey is both amused and outraged at the behavior of the would-be hunters. He feels they need to be punished, and a simple clean death is too much of a luxury for those who sought him harm. He has Jill stand in front of the smith, while he runs his hands over her body, taunting the smith and his inability to protect anyone, his son or this girl.  Finally, he asks the smith “Is this what you so feared for her” and again drinks from the girl. Succeeds on Self-Control, and takes only a few points from her. He then Commands Stephen to step outside and wait for the girl.

Once alone, he tells Jill that Stephen wishes him dead, and that he needs her to help protect him. She is shocked, and believes that Godfrey should be more than able to handle the smith. Alas, Godfrey tells her, it’s not that simple, and he needs her to do it. She is so besotted by his vampiric powers that she will obey anything the vampire says. He bids her to take Stephen back to his smithy, and then to kill him.

As they leave, he Commands Stephen to follow Jill back to his smithy, and then returns to his slumber, a smile on his lips.

His Presence will wear off soon, but still time for the conflict to begin. Not that Stephen understands what is happening. In a direct fight, Stephen would easily best the poor girl, but she does have the advantage of surprise. As such, I assume a 50% chance that she kills Stephen before he can effectively fight back. 81—No. She stabs the smith, viciously, but not enough to kill him. Does he kill her? He does not want to, but he is in shock and hurt and afraid. Worse, he has no idea how vulnerable Jill is, due to blood that has already been taken from her. Does he kill Jill? Likely—yes. The girl dies in his arms, free in her last moments from the vampires control. She begs his forgiveness, though she is still confused as to what caused her to do such an act.

The smith desires proper vengeance on the vampire, and wishes to burn the inn to the ground. But a crowd has gathered, and a few hear her last words “Stephen…why…why did…” and the grieving father is taken away to face judgement.

What can I say, Presence 3 is a freaking game killer.

The tale concludes with Part Three

Clash of Wills Part One

This is first part of my Solo play through of the Vampire module Clash of Wills.  The Introduction and Characters can be found here.  

Godfrey, Johann, and Samuel are summoned by Nicolas, the true servant of his Dark Majesty Joseph, to secure the inheritance of the County of Galtre to Richard I the King. Godfrey eagerly and proudly accepts the charge, and the other two have no say in the matter whatsoever.  Nicolas gives them a complete will for the Earl to sign and a Letter of Introduction, signed by a powerful mortal Duke who is known to be a confident of the King. In addition, the receive fine horses, armor, and weapons, and permission to feed freely and fully before their journey begins.

Scene 1 The Arrival.
The journey takes 6 nights of travel, and it is a harsh trip for the vampires, though peaceable enough. Johann and Samuel are able to feed sporadically along the way, and are only down 3 Blood Points. Godfrey, due to his “refined pallet” has not been able to feed, and is down the full 6. Near midnight on the final night, as they approach the outskirts of the village of Redford, they hear the harsh laughter of men and see lights and torches near a peasant’s hovel.  Just before the men ride off, they hear one of them proclaim “Consider my offer, Jill. You will learn that we can make you hear the angels sing.”

They approach the hovel, to see a lovely young woman wrapped in a blanket, crying softly to herself. It takes a few moments before she notices the coterie, and is alarmed at the site of the pale and silent visitors. But seeing Godfrey’s fine clothing and his two armed and armored guards, she assumes he is a Lord of some sort and keeps her manners. She is initially reluctant to tell them of anything, but as Godfrey gently pushes, she tells them her story.

Her’s is a tale of woe. Her parents passed last spring, and she alone has been left to care for the farm and her three young brothers. The Earl’s brutal Warden, DuBois by name, has made his interest clear to her, but all she has left is her virtue. His harassment has recently increased, and now includes threats against her brothers. She knows not what to do. The Earl is known to be cruel and harsh to those who appeal to him for justice, and even more brutal to those who speak against his men. There is no one in the land to aid her.

The intoxicating aroma of the virtuous peasant girl is almost more than Godfrey can bare. And while he speaks courteously to her, he moves ever closer, and is overly familiar with his touch. When Johann attempts to distract his master, to urge them to leave the girl be and to continue their mission, he is cruelly dismissed to ride ahead and scout the road.

Undistracted, Godfrey makes a Self-Control roll and succeeds. He does not slay the poor girl, but merely drinks a sip from her. He might not find such a perfect vessel again in these lands. He does, however, use his vampiric discipline of Dominate to forbid her from speaking of him or his companions to anyone, nor to leave her farm for the next week. He wants to know exactly where she is for when he is ready to feed.

Unfortunately for Godfrey, Jill is a girl of true faith. Actually, make that True Faith, and so Dominate does not affect her. Of course, her shock and terror and desire to not further put herself in danger leads her to acquiesce to his strange commands.  Though, come dawn, she will find that she is not as alone as she thought…

Scene 2. Millstone Castle.
Millstone castle is a simple structure. A large and powerful central tower, the Keep, dominates over a slight rise. Around it, a ring of stone walls protects a central courtyard. Inside, the coterie hears the sounds of drunken laughing, and Samuel picks up the same voice as they had heard before. Johann pounds on the gate, and it takes forever for a man to approach it. He is initially dismissive of Johann, but the site of Godfrey makes him rethink his rudness, and the guard (one of the Warden’s “Assessors”) allows them entrance.

Inside, they see a collection of ruffians and thugs sitting around a bonfire, laughing and tormenting the two nearly naked women who move between them. As they wander between the men, each gropes their exposed skin and cuts away more of their clothing. One woman is clearly frightened, while the other expresses only a blank, shocked face. The one who opened the gate calls out to DuBois, crudely announcing the visitors. The Warden offers his “turn” to a man sitting in the back, who demurs from the game. 

DuBois is initially aggressive with the coterie, but the letter and Godfrey’s noble bearing quickly disabuses him of that. In fact, Godfrey is soon berating the Warden for his shameful behavior, on this night, as his Lord and Master lies on his sick bed, dying. The Warden should be in prayers for his master, or at least maintain a respectful silence, if such a pig is even capable of such an act. The Warden, despite his power, has no choice but to accept the abuse. Confident he has put the man in his proper place, Godfrey begins to make his way to the Keep proper when Johann chimes in, asking if the women should not be let go. Tired of the Gangrel’s constant moralizing, Godfrey orders Dubois to let the women go. But upon smelling their blood and recognizing their virtue on scent, he changes his mind.  He orders Johann to escort the women home safely, and to make careful note of where they live. He might find to visit them later, to ensure they are…being treated well. Unhappily, Johann obeys his better.

As Godfrey heads to the castle, one of the men, the quiet one, rushes to escort them. Away from the fire, he introduces himself as Wilfred, a servant of Nicholas’ sent ahead to scout the area. He was looking for other vampires who may be nosing around, and joined DuBois’ Assessors to get the lay of the land. He guides them into the Keep and to the Earl’s chambers. Along the way, Samuel notices a beautiful lady watching them from behind a door, but when he turns to look at her, she closes it. Wilfred recognizes her as Karin, the wife of the Earl’s son.

Scene 3
Wilfred knocks on the door to the Earl’s chamber, and the coterie are admitted, though Wilfred remains outside. Inside the room is Alfred, the Earl’s son, two monks praying in a corner (one of which is Father Lucien, a servant of the Toreador Remus who covets the County for his own end), and in a large bed which dominates the room the dying Earl himself. 

The Earl is eager to hear from his “dear friend” in London, and makes it clear to Godfrey that he knows exactly whom he serves. The two talk privately, and Alfred speaks with Samuel, who quickly realizes that Alfred is a vampire as well. The monks keep to themselves, but over hear everything. Eventually Godfrey asks to speak to the Earl alone. While the monks and Alfred initially refuse this, the Earl bids them leave with a tired wave of his hand. Once alone, the speak freely.

The Earl is terrified of dying, and not to subtly expresses his belief that Godfrey can aid him. Godfrey hints that it is possible, but the Earl wishes more than unending life. He wishes to have his youth and vitality restored as well.  Despite the Earls rank, Godfrey feels no compunction to honor this mortal as anything resembling an equal, and so he simply lies to him. “Indeed,” he tells the Earl. “Such a wish could be granted, but at a cost.”

“First, your youth can not be fully restored to you. I was once a man such as yourself, of a similar age. When the change came to me, my youth, which you see, was returned. But not everything.” He holds up his whither hand. “Perhaps the same will affect you. Or perhaps your face will still bear your old visage, while your body becomes hale and hearty. It is hard to say with certainty. In addition, you will need to say farewell to this life. For three nights you will slumber beneath the ground, much as our Lord did after his crucifixion. It is only on the third night that you will rise again, eternal and immortal. You will be, to the mortals, dead. But your life will be your own, and you may travel where you will.” As he will lay dead for three nights, the Earl will have to sign the will deeding his lands to the King prior to the change. Godfrey is, of course, lying. But he is telling a story the desperate and dying man is eager to believe.

Godfrey rolls Manipulation + Subterfuge (6) 8,2,2,7,10,3—3 successes.
The Earl attempts to detect Wits (3)+Subterfuge (0), 6,1,3 – No Successes.

He believes Godfrey’s tale, and signs the document that Godfrey brought with him.

Does Samuel do anything about this cruel manipulation?  Self-Control roll: 6,1,3,4. Yes, he speaks up, urging Godfrey to not do this, to find another way. In his outburst, does he reveal the real plans? Likely (75% chance): 98 -- EXCEPTIONAL NO. If anything, his outburst assuages any doubt the Earl may have.

Is anyone outside listening to this? Likely (75% chance): 80 -- No. Godfrey is able to carry out his plan with little issue. He feeds on the Earl (though his impure blood does little to assuage Godfrey’s hunger), but just enough to leave him weak, and near death.

Scene 4 The Meeting
They meet Karin, and Alfred. Karin makes the plea that Galtre is better suited to Nottingham’s control, and Alfred is the legitimate heir.

Godfrey responds with disdain. They are emissaries of Joseph, the Dark Father, and those who oppose his will are not mere rebels, but heretics. He has declared that the lands are to return to the mortal King, and who are they to question the wisdom of the founder of their kind?

The argument is about to become heated, when Father Lucian arrives to inform them that his Lordship has passed. Alfred and Karin are surprised, but Godfrey is smug. Lucian and Alfred argue about inheritance, but Godfrey produces the signed will with a flourish, leaving the gathered shocked and silent. Regaining his wits, Lucien cries out “you don’t know what you’ve done!” and quickly flees the chambers. Godfrey cares little for the concerns of the mortal monk.

Karin makes a final plea, and offers the castle as a place of refuge for the coterie. Godfrey’s replies that it is no longer theirs to make such an offer, but as the representive of his Dark Majesty, they are welcome to stay and enjoy the hospitality of the castle. Karin and Alfred are left fuming, but Godfrey is proud of his job well done.

Clash of Wills continues with Part Two.

Clash of Wills Introduction

A World Lit Only by Fire
Great World of Darkness Chronicle
Clash of Wills
(Written by Steve Miller, developed by Justin Achilli, and illustrated by Leif Jones, with cover art by Dan Brereton.)

For the first story in "The Great World of Darkness Chronicle" I will be playing Clash of Wills. Spoilers, naturally, follow. The story in question involves a group of British vampires dispatched by Mithras, the Prince of London to the small County of Galtre. It's monstrous and aged Earl is dying, and planning to will his lands to the church. As the British church is controlled by Mithras' rivals, he desires the lands to pass to the Crown. The players have been dispatched to see that Mithras' will is enacted.

First of all, I will be making a few changes to the established setting.  I want to incorporate as much of my ideas on how to redo the Long Night as possible given the module-focused nature of this campaign. To summarize quickly, the Dark Ages are a time of confinement, isolation, and ignorance. Even the story of Caine and his relationship to vampires is little known in most of the continent. Instead, various Elders rules their progeny with an iron fist. Even the term "Prince" is an anachronism for this time period. And much of the power of the Elders comes from fantastic and self-aggrandizing myths they tell about themselves, and to which the childer have no reason to even question.

So, in this setting, "Mithras" goes by Joseph, claiming to the be the Joseph of Arimathea. But instead of bringing the Holy Grail to England, he instead brought the very blood of Christ with him, and was thus the First Vampire. There were few vampires in England during the Roman times, and fewer still who survived the chaos that accompanied its Fall. Even those who know better accept the lie to further their own power, seeing no need to tell the childer anything by stories to ensure their obedience.

In addition, the society is extremely status and class conscious. Those of "better" Clans--Ventrue, followed by Toreador, and then Brujah--are superior to those such as Gangrel or Tremere.  In addition, those of lower (read: better) Generation are superior to those of higher. This is the society that exists, and none have thoughts of questioning it.

Secondly, the rules used are a bit of a mashup. Combat and derangements are from the 1st Edition of Vampire, the Roads and Disciplines are from Dark Ages: Vampire. As such, I try to clarify which rule I'm using when they come up.

Next, I wanted this to be the springboard for some future adventures in the Chronicle. The first is the Ventrue Chronicles, so I made sure to include the character creation advice in that book for these characters. Otherwise, characters were generated randomly--the of course one was going to be a Venture, and the childe of the Prince of York. Each character has a decently elaborate backstory, but I'll include only the highlights here.

Here are the characters:

Godfrey--the Maimed Lord. Ventrue, childe of John of York. As a mortal, he suffered terribly from a malformed hand and constant nightmares. His frailty ensured he was passed over in favor of his younger siblings, and he made his way as a Seneschal for other, greater Lords. His ruthless efficiency and cunning drew the attention of John, the "Eldest" of York.  His feeding requirements are virtuous, beautiful, and virginal peasant girls (his favorite target alone on passed over manor). FLAWS: One Handed (actually, he has both, but his right is malformed and useless) and Nightmares. MERITS: Lightsleeper. ROAD: Kings (6)

Johann--the Penitent Crusader. Childe of Eyolf of York. A peasant boy rounded up for service in the Third Crusade, Johann was shocked and horrified at what he was forced to do in the name of the lord. When the Crusade ended with Jerusalem still in the hands of the Saracens, he and his companions were abandoned by their Lords, and it took him years to return to England. During that time, his faith was challenged and tested, but he emerged stronger for it. Now he seeks to return to the Holy Land, but must first serve his betters before being able to depart. MERITS AND FLAWS: None. ROAD: Heaven (7).

Samuel--Vengeful Madman. Childe of Lucius. A child of a prosperous village craftsman, Samuel was well suited to take his fathers place. But a series of tragedies ruined his life, forcing him to a life of petty banditry and crime. And then, the real horror began. One by one, his gang was killed off, until only two were left. Each was convinced the other had been behind the killings, and Samuel was barely able to kill his once true friend before he himself was slain. Lucius, his sire, then revealed himself as the killer of the gang, and forcibly embraced Samuel. Samuel now hunts his sire, believe him to not only have been the killer of his gang, but the source of all the tragedy in his life. His sire, he is certain, is always just behind him, waiting to strike. FLAWS: Infamous Sire and Sire's Resentment (Lucius isn't actually hunting him, yet). MERITS: None. Derangement: Compulsive behavior--he always takes a trophy of some sort from those he feeds on.

Godfrey, while hailing from York, is in London serving Joseph and his court as a "squire"--part of his coming of age as a proper Ventrue. Johann the Court, hoping for permission and aid in returning to the Holy Land. Samuel has no where else to go, but feels safe from his sires wrath among the elder vampires. Both of the later are viewed as nothing so much as disposable peons by their betters. As such, Godfrey will be the "main character" of the story, the one making most the major decisions. At least, so long as he is around. What the other two get up to behind his back in their own business...

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Initial Thoughts and Plans -- Great World of Darkness Chronicle

"A plan is just a list of things that don't happen."
Parker The Way of the Gun

Before I begin this mammoth undertaking, I want to spend a few moments collecting my thoughts and figuring out exactly how I intend to do the "Great World of Darkness Chronicle." It's easy to get lost with something like this, and having some rough guidelines will hopefully help keep things clear for everyone. Obviously, these are just my current thoughts, and they will naturally evolve as I get a better grasp of what it is that I hope to accomplish with the Chronicle. If I start straying too far from this, I'll stop to make clear what I'm changing and why. So, in no particular order, here's where I'm currently at.

This will be a Solo game.
Probably not a surprise, since this is something of a sequel/expansion on my Let's Play Alien Hunger series. But, there is a question of why I'm doing it this way, rather than a standard table top game. First, there is the matter of time. I'm already running a Vampire Chronicle, but that one is straying pretty far from the "canon" of the World of Darkness. And I'm playing in a long running D&D campaign as well. I lack the time to engage in something this massive with other players. And that's one of the appeal, to me, of Solo gaming. I can do it when the kids are asleep or whenever else the time presents itself. In addition, and more importantly, it's rewarding in a different way than standard role-playing, allowing me to challenge myself and push my creativity in different ways, regardless of me being a Player or a Storyteller.

Not sure what Solo gaming is? I had planned to write my own introduction to it, but RPGReady has a a better take on it than I could do. Check it out here. Of course, most of their examples are fantasy based; to get an idea of what I'm trying to accomplish, here's my Alien Hunger series.

This will be a group game
Unlike a typical Solo game, this Chronicle will feature few, if any "one player" stories. Not so much for the difficulty, as White Wolf modules are rarely "deadly," but more for the emulated experience. As the characters age and the world changes, how the coteries interact with each other becomes the emotional glue that keeps the game functioning.

As such, I will be using the "PC Emulator" idea, which I first heard about via Lone Crusader. In short, the characters themselves will be semi-randomized, as I use the GM Emulator to help direct how they respond to the events they experience. Of course, any results so attained will be filtered through the characters current situation, Nature, Demeanor, Concept, Virtues, and Path. This helps to keep things fresh and exciting for me, and is actually an element of Solo gaming I've brought into my standard games, at least as a player.

There will be multiple coteries (packs, chantries, etc.)
One can certainly run the Chronicle with a single group of players. Heck, merging the Transylvania Chronicles and the Giovanni Chronicles is a long standing tradition among Vampire Storytellers. Here is a great example of what outline to follow to accomplish this. But, each Chronicle has their own themes and struggles, and I want to keep them separate, at least to an extent. So, there will be a Transylvania Coterie, a Giovanni Coterie, and a British Coterie (mainly following Clash of Wills and the Ventrue Chronicles). Inevitably, these groups will overlap or at least come into conflict with one another. But, each will have their own struggles and challenges, and will attempt to influence the flow of history.

This will be an "ironman" Chronicle
No character should be so important that they can't die, and the dice will fall where they may.

In my dreams, by the time Gehenna rolls around, there will be only a few PC's left, some young and new, others the last survivors of a millennial long conflict. I naturally won't go out of my way to kill off the characters. Well, unless we get to the end and I have an absurd number of characters left.

There will be an introduction before each Story
To help deal with the sheer quantity of characters and plots being dealt with, each Story will have its own introduction. This will either introduce the PC's and explain who they are, why they are together, and what they're up to. Or, if the PC's have had a previous Story, this will serve as a reminder of who they are and provide an update of what they've been up to since we last saw them. I'll also include the credits for the Story being told (author, original book, link to drivethrurpg to purchase it, etc.).

Character creation will be randomized
I hate optimized characters--I want them to have a bit more flavor and interest than the "ideal" allows. I want my Brujah to be scholarly recluses, my Tremere to be fool hardy men of action, and my Gangrel to be charismatic con-men. I'll be using a variety of tools for this (Central Casting, Universal NPC Emulator, the Masquerade Players Kit, etc.), but hopefully each character will end up at least somewhat unique. So, if you're wondering why anyone would build a Ventrue who is so bad at Dominate, well, there you go. Not every Ventrue is the same.

I won't post how I came up with each character, just know that if they aren't an already established NPC is the Stories, then they're probably created randomly. The exception to this will be cases where the Story demands certain types of characters, or does not allow certain ones. For example, there has to be a Ventrue in the Ventrue Chronicles series of Stories.

I will skip the boring bits
One of my maxims when running a game is "the game does not begin until the players can make meaningful decisions."  The worst element of any game for me, either as a player or as the GM, is the seemingly legally required "briefing."  You know, the scenes where the characters are brought before a powerful NPC who gives them the quest and orders to not fail them. They may only haggle in one extremely particular way, or else suffer dire consequences--thought, not so dire that they won't be able to do the quest. It's boring, and tedious, and I'll probably just gloss over sections where the PC's can't do anything.

For some of these, this might result in skipping a significant chunk of the Story. Ah, White Wolf and their love of railroads...

Once the Stories begin, this will be a "standard" Solo game
I'll be using Mythic as my GM emulator. Once the Story begins (generally after the boring bits), the game can fall in any direction, based on the typical Mythic rules and the characters actions. Naturally, I'll try to use the material provided as best I can, but the Stories may end up quite different from what is published.

Spoilers are to be assumed
This is not a review of the Stories that compose the Chronicle. This is a blow-by-blow "Let's Play" of them. I'll include a standard spoiler warning in each introduction, but such things should be unneeded.

My grammar and spelling suck
Yes, I am aware. There is a damn good reason why I decided to not be an English major long ago when I was at University. I do try my best, and I will gladly fix any errors. They'll probably seem glaringly obvious to you, but I always miss things. I do proofread before I publish these. For all the good it does me...

Alright, enough talking about what I want to do. Let's get to it! We'll begin in the next post, as a group of young vampires are about to receive a commission from the undead lord of London...

Monday, July 31, 2017

Great World of Darkness Chronicle: Adventures and Stories

When I first though of doing "The Great World of Darkness Chronicle." my intention was to run a solo game of various groups through all, or at least most, of the pre-published stories for Vampire, Werewolf, and Mage. Knowing that most of these are, eh, let's just say "thoroughly plotted", my thought was to heavily intersperse these tales with my own custom and randomly generated stories. Well, I've spend the past day or so trying to come up with a complete list of the adventures. So far, this is what I have.

I spent far too much time trying to get blogger to post these images at the same size.

Now, looking at this, a couple of thoughts pop into my head.

First, I'm clearly missing a few adventures. Possibly quite a few. My main source was the fan-based White Wolf Wiki and I know for a fact they were missing some. Unfortunately, I couldn't find anything close to a better source. Even drivethrurpg didn't come close to the Wiki as far as showing what adventures were in which book. If you see any glaring holes, please let me know.

Secondly, this is a LOT of material. Like, far more than I think I really appreciated when I first began exploring this idea. My initial thought of a "best case scenario" for the time line of this project assumed roughly a week or so per adventure, and even at that ludicrous pace, it would take me roughly a year and half. And there is no way I'd be able to maintain that pace. This is going to be a multi-year project. 

And you know what? I still want to try it. Sure, it may take a laughably long time to complete, but the focus is on having fun, not maintaining any sort of specific pace. There will be weeks and months where I let it lie fallow as I explore other ideas or just take a breather for a bit. Then, hopefully, there will be a fresh rush as I head back into it. It's going to be interesting, at least.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

The Great World of Darkness Chronicle

After the relative success of my solo Let's Play Alien Hunger (success, in this case, being defined by the fun I had while playing/writing it, not on any other metric), I want to try something similar, but far more expansive. I want to solo "The Great World of Darkness Chronicle."

Essentially, I want to go through all, or at least most, of the published adventures, starting from the earliest and leading up to the Gehenna books. Of course, "Great World of Darkness Chronicle" is a bit of a misnomer--I'm really just interested in doing the Vampire, Werewolf, and Mage games. Even that will be a tremendous undertaking, particularly since family, work, other "standard games" (running one and playing in another as of this writing), and the annoying thing we call "real life" will take up a huge amount of my time. Best case scenario, it will take me a year or so to get through everything. If I'm being honest, probably quite a bit more.

Particularly since I'll most likely step outside the published adventures from time to time, to do more personal stories, deal with the fall out of things that happened, and just stretch a bit of creative muscle.

But still, I think It will be fun, if a bit sporadic. I certainly won't try to maintain any sort of posting regularity. Besides the sheer size of the thing, there are a couple of issues that I'm facing with this idea.

First, I don't know all of the adventures, particularly for Werewolf and Mage. I have a decent number of the earliest ones (Rite of Passage, Valkenburg Foundation, Loom of Fate), but my library is embarrassing lite for these games.  Anyone know if there's a list out there?

Second, I don't even own all the ones I DO know about. Thanks to One Book Shelf and PDFs, this is fairly easily solved, but even still it's going to cost me a bit getting everything I want to run all of these. This is where the time issue helps, though

Yeah, I know.
Third, I'm not sure what to do about the big, historical epics--the Transylvania and Giovanni Chronicles (and, to a lesser extent, the Ventrue Chronicles). Do I run the Chronicle chronologically, starting with Transylvania and moving forward century by century until the 1990's and the explosion of the other games?  Do I run them in the order they were published? So, start with Ashes to Ashes, but do a time jump back to the Dark Ages when the time comes? Just ignore them completely?

The advantage of going chronologically is that it allows for the grand sweep of history I'm looking for. Prophecies made in earlier stories for one group of characters might come true for a different group centuries later. Also, the characters can have more freedom of action, allowing them to shape the future World when we get there. Finally, these Elders can exist as sires, patrons, or foes of the younger characters in the modern nights.

The downside is, well, that means a LOT of Vampire and history in the beginning of the Chronicle. Now, I love Vampire, but I want to be able to branch out to the other games as well. My original plan was to do a bunch of Camarilla/Anarch stories in and around Chicago, then a few Sabbat and Werewolf stories leading up to Under a Blood Red Moon, then split up for their own stories, including cross overs (such as the Samuel Haight adventures), until we come to the End Times.

Obviously, there will be multiple parties of characters involved--Camarilla Vampires, Sabbat Vampires, Mages, and Werewolves. Heck, I can even see using this to further the stories of Damon, Trent, and Maya, since they're the most likely to be wandering around city by city.

So, what do you guys think? Is this just an insane idea? Should I include the historical games? Chronologically or in order of publishing? Any idea on where to get a complete list of all the adventures for the game lines? Skip the apocalyptic scenarios and prep to move into the "5th Ed" world? Something blindly obvious that I'm missing?

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Sabbat Pack Creation: Traits and Options

In the previous post I talked about the basic rules for the creation of the Sabbat Pack. In this post, I want to look at the individual components that make up the Pack, and the various options available for them. Following the previous ideas, you choose which general kind of Pack you want to be part of, then pick and choose from the Trait. Each has a "default" value for each Trait, based on the type of Pack. There are then various PRO's and CON's that can be choosen to further customize each Trait, hopefully making each Pack unique and distinctive.

Territory: Generally, in the least desirable areas for Cainites to live, such the suburbs, residential communities, small outlying town, etc. Base Hunting difficulty is 8 (6 for members)
          PRO: Your territory is in a far more central and prestigious location, such as Downtown or a tourist-friendly area known for its vice. Base difficulty of 6 (4 for members)
          CON: You have no claimed territory, and live on the fringes of Sabbat society. Or, your territory, such as it is, is surrounded and threatened by Lupines, the Camarilla, or others. Hunting difficulty is 10 (8 for members).
Size: On average, 5-7 members, none more powerful than a typical neonate..
PRO: You’re pack is unusually large for its age (8-10 members), or one of its members is particularly powerful (ancilla).
CON: 3 Members

Defenses: You have only the most basic methods of protecting your territory, with only a small number of mortals bribed or conditioned to keep an eye out for anything unusual happening. You often need to rely on pack members actively patrolling your territory to keep things safe.
          PRO:  You have extensive contacts among one class of mortals (police, gang members, neighbors, etc), who will alert you to not only strangers in the area, but any unusual legal events.
          CON: You are on your own to defend your territory.
Communal Haven: Your temple is a simple structure, often nothing more than the basement in a house or office building.  It has only one or two rooms, and everyone needs to share space. Through means fair or foul, you “own” it, helping to keep curious mortals away.
          PRO: You’re Haven is far larger than normal, providing space for rituals and meetings, private havens for pack members, a small armory or cell to keep prey or prisoners, etc.
          CON: It’s barely fit to be called a Haven. It’s an abandoned or empty building, and strange comings and goings attract attention. There’s no power or water, and little in the way of space or protection.
Internal Politics: Your pack is united, with everyone following either one particular Path of Enlightenment or Humanity.
          PRO: The entire pack follows either a single Path or Humanity.
          CON: Many go their own way, following two or three Paths.

Retainers: Typical Vespers lack the age and authority to have ghouls, and as such you must make do with the handful of mortals you’ve successfully bribed or dominated into doing your work.
          PRO: Either through a service in the past or the prestige of a particular pack member, the Archbishop has granted the pack permission to create a small number of ghouls, generally around 3 or so. Or, you have gained direct influence over a group of mortals (say, a gang), with whom you can direct with relative impunity.
          CON: The characters are on their own, with no one to defend them during the day or carry out their desires.
Knowledge: You have only the most basic access to modern information and little in the way of ancient lore. Your libraries and other resources limit you to 2 in Abilities, and a measly 1 in any of the Lore or Occult skills.
          PRO:  You have access and some influence with a decent University, giving you up to a 4 in Abilities. Or, you have managed to accumulate a decent library, allowing up to a 3 in the Lore and Occult skills.
          CON: Due to location and lack or resources, you have nothing but your own knowledge to guide you, and what can be begged from allies.

Herd: You have not yet been granted permission to accumulate a Herd, and even if you had, you haven’t even started the process of acquiring such a resource.
          PRO:  While not authorized, you have drawn a small band of desperate mortals to you, providing the pack with an effective Herd of 2.

Equipment: Basic clothing, a few vehicles, and common consumer gear, so long as it’s relatively cheap. Your arsenal, such as it is, contains of knives and machetes, light pistols and revolvers, and maybe a shotgun.
          PRO: Either through purchase, gifts, or clever theft, you’ve accumulated a decent amount of gear for your members. New and decent clothing, well maintained vehicles enough for the entire pack, and weapons that include automatic weapons and some explosives.
          CON: The clothes on your back, a beat up van or car the whole pack can pile into, and a few knives is all you can muster.

Resources: Money is scarce, and often comes from stealing from the mortals the pack members feed on. Effectively similar to a Resources of 1.
          PRO:  Either through bolder crimes by members, or influence over local gangs or businesses (often in the form of “protection”), the pack has an effective Resource of 2.
          CON: Perhaps their territory is truly destitute, or the Pack just can’t seem to care about mortal money. Effective Resources start at 0.

Contacts: A few people plugged into the wider world occasionally talk to members. The Pack starts off with effectively a 2 in Contacts.
          PRO: With an unusual focus on mortals, or just lucky members, the Pack has a wide net of friends. Effectively a 4 in Contacts.
          CON: Who are you? There is no one in a position to feed the Pack information.
Status: While young, any Pack treated as a Vespers will at least be made up of True Sabbat. Typical members effectively have a Sabbat Status of 1, while leaders (Ductus or Priest) will have Sabbat Status of 2.
          PRO:  You’ve already accomplished something remarkable, or your scions of a well-respected pack. Normal members have a Status of 2 with leaders at 3.  One of them will likely serve the city as a Bishop or a Templar.
          CON: You’re True Sabbat, but barely. You are despised and ignore by your brethren, with typical members having a Status of 0, and the leaders only grudgingly acknowledged with a 1.

Relationships: You have few allies, but fewer enemies. You have a friendly relationship with a Compline Pack, but are rivals with a fellow Vespers, or a group of comparable power.
          PRO: You are well liked and well respected in the city, able to count at least one Compline pack and two Vesper packs as your friends. Few would seek to antagonize you unnecessarily.
          CON: You stand alone, with none to call for aid. Of course, that only makes you a target, giving you either two Vesper packs as rivals, or a Compline.

Obligations: You need to secure your territory, not only in your name, but in the name of the Sabbat as a whole. In addition, your pack is often called upon for the drudge work of security for meetings or to gather vessels for celebrations.
          PRO:  Perhaps you’ve managed to impress the Archbishop, but the drudgery of “ghoul” work is beneath you. Instead you focus on maintaining the Silence for the whole city, or something similarly significant.
          CON: Your low status forces you to be the errand boys throughout the city, and few care if this leaves your territory open to attack from others.

Territory: Often control the most dynamic and best areas of the city. Standard hunting difficulty of 6 (4 for members).
          PRO:  Your territory is not only the best in the city, but a famous one drawing mortals from around the world. Base difficulty of 4 (2 for members)
          CON: Time has passed the Pack by, or their hopes never materialized. Their territory is similar to a Vespers. Hunting difficulty of 8 (6 for members)

Size: Typically have about 10-15 members, at least half of whom are equivalent to an ancilla.
PRO: about 20-30 members.
CON: maybe something bad has gone down recently, but the Pack only has 5-7 members left.

Defenses: Extensive ties through blood binding, bribes, and other influence keeps them well informed of not only unusual visitors of any type, but also anything else unusual happening.
          PRO: Not only will your extensive networks keep the Pack informed, but they will act immediately to counter or drive off any perceived threat. Ex: the local police will arrest the hunter in the area of their own volition.
          CON: Similar to a Vespers.
Communal Haven: Large and well appointed. Each member has their own private room, with additional guest rooms for high ranking and respected visitors. In addition, there are special areas for rituals, meetings, “pens” for vessels and secure prisons for vampires. And of course, the extensive and well-fortified armory.

Internal Politics: As the Pack increases in size and age, rifts start to form, with at least three different Paths being followed. Though, such conflicts tend to be kept in check for the greater good.
          PRO: The pack as a whole still follows the same Path (or Humanity), keeping the group unified.
          CON: Factionalization has taken root, with leaders constantly battling for the “right” way to handle crisis.

Retainers: A dozen or so ghouls work directly for the Pack, only a few of which have been so misshapen by torture and vicissitude that they can’t show their faces among mortals. In addition, the Pack has direct influence over a street gang or the like to carry out their whims as desired.
          PRO: The Retainers are unusually well trained and disciplined, perhaps being former military or police. Or, they have an unusually large number of Retainers.

          CON: Only a few ghouls work for the Pack, and the mortals (if any) who follow them are weak and scattered.

Knowledge: Often has direct connections with and influence over a University, or the like, allowing Abilities up to 4. In addition, they have spent significant time learning of the world, with Lore and Occult up to 3.
          PRO:  As above, but something is extraordinary. Perhaps they have a top University, allowing many Abilities up to 5. Or, they have access to amazing trainers, allowing combat skills up to 5. Or, they have managed to accumulate one the finest occult libraries in the World—Lore and Occult up to 4.
          CON: Similar to a Vespers.

Herd:  Either through luck or hard work, they have created an ideal world for Cainites. They effectively have a 3 in Herd for its members.
          PRO: A veritable paradise. Effective Herd of 5.
          CON: Maybe it’s a lack of interest, or a string of unfortunate events. They have no Herd.

Equipment: Often the best equipped of all the Packs. New, expensive and fashionable clothing, top end electronics and other goods. Assault weapons, sub-machine guns, explosives, well crafted swords—they are well equipped to commit carnage.
          PRO: In addition to the above, they have been able to get even more exotic weapons. Missile launchers, silver swords and bullets, or rare mystical blades that inflict aggravated damage to supernaturals.
          CON: Only the most basic and commercially available gear is available to members.

Resources: Through crime, legal investments, or other means, the Pack is well off. Generally the equivalent of Resources 4.
          PRO: The are among the wealthiest Cainites in the Sabbat with an effective Resources of 5, if not higher.
          CON: Times are tough all around. Resource equivalent is merely a 2.

Contacts: They know, or are known by, almost everyone who is worth knowing. Effective Contacts of 5.
          PRO: Not only do they have contacts, but unusual for the Sabbat, they’ve built connections with powerful mortals, giving them an effective Ally rating of 5.
          CON: They know a few, but not many. Contacts of 2.

Status: As the one of, if not THE, most important Packs in a given area, their word carries weight. Typical members have a status of 2, and the leaders a status of 3. Members often serve as Bishops or Templars.
          PRO: Unusually well regarded. Typical status is a 3, with leaders having a 4. Disregarding tradition, the Archbishop of the area is a member, at the very least.
          CON: Perhaps something has embarrassed the Pack lately, but they are less regarded than they should. Typical members have a Status of 1, with the leaders having a 2.

Relationships: As they gain in power and prestige, more rivals appear to challenge the Pack. They are rivals with another Compline or Nocturn Pack, and another Compline or two Vespers. Your allies are either another Compline and a Nocturn, and at least two Vespers look to you for guidance.
          PRO: Either through destruction or charm, they’ve limited their foes. Rivals are only another Compline or two Vespers.
          CON: Maybe they’ve made too many mistakes, or everyone thinks the Pack is coming after them. Either way, they have twice the normal amount of rivals and foes.

Obligations: While free from routine drudgery, much is expected of the pack. Perhaps they need to maintain city wide security, arrange financial support the Sect, or provide the City’s Communal Haven. In addition, they are expected to lead and host a number of rituals, and provide aid and sustenance to others in need. Members are often called away for special operations and missions.
          PRO: They’ve managed to pass off their obligations on others, or successfully “automate” the obligations (such as a providing a “charitable trust fund” for the city leaders to draw on as needed). Reduce their obligations.
          CON: Maybe it’s jealousy, or over-confidence, but the Pack has taken on almost more than they can handle. Perhaps they provide the city’s Communal Haven AND security for the entire City, or something similar. Pack members spend significant amount of their time “working.”

Territory: They once claimed the most desirable, but time passes for us all. Their areas have either been gentrified past the point of usefulness, or decayed too far. Base difficulty of 8 (Pack members at 6)
PRO: Time is a flat circle, and what old is new again. Or, you’ve recently expanded your turf. Base difficulty of 6 (Pack members at 4)
CON: Things are getting bad, fast. Base difficulty of 10 (Pack members at 8)

Defenses: As their territory declines, so does their means of defending it. They have only a select number of mortals, often the few remnants of once powerful crime families, to aid in the defense of their territory.
PRO: You have retained enough ties to one class or mortals to keep you as well informed as possible, though they no longer have the clout to do anything about it.
CON: You are on your own.

Size: A typical Nocturn Pack has roughly 20-30 members, but many of them are called away on special assignments. At least a quarter of the members are effective Elders.
PRO: One of the largest Packs in the Sabbat, they have more members than most cities have vampires. 60-80 members
CON: 10-15 members still remain.

Communal Haven: Once glorious, time and lack of focus has allowed decay and rot to sink in. The underworld labyrinth you call home  is shrinking in on itself, and other things have taken up resident in the unused portions. While still large, it contains only the most basic comforts.
PRO: One of the largest and most glamourous havens on the continent, and perhaps the world.
CON: Something has forced you to move, and you’re communal haven is barely able to fit all of your members, let alone provide them with the comfort and security they need.

Internal Politics: Factionalization has taken root, and the leaders battle for the right way to proceed. Multiple Paths further divide the Pack.
PRO: Somehow the Pack has remained united. Maybe it’s due to a near fanatic following of one particular Path, or a charismatic Ductus has managed to tamp down on the factions.
CON: The Pack is on the edge, with only civil war or division being the answer.

Retainers: Large numbers of Vicissituded Ghouls--formerly human, animal, and plenty of others even their creators have forgotten the origin of--are ready to defend and fight for the Pack. There are others, so blood dependent and heavily Dominated as to be fanatically loyal, though no longer possessing anything resembling sanity.
PRO: A handful of select servants remain enough of their mortal selves to operate for the Pack during the day, and coordinate the actions of the monstrous army at the Packs command.
CON: Even their ghouls have turned against this Pack, and only a handful of desperate, insane monsters remain. And their true loyalty can only be guessed at.

Knowledge: Have little connection with mortal institutions (similar to Vespers), but have experienced much of the World--One Lore up to 5, the rest up to 4.
PRO:  Either their library has been built up over the centuries, or their old ties still exist. Similar to Compline.
CON: The library has been lost, or forgotten. Similar to Vespers.

Herd: Entire mortal institutions or families have served the Pack for as long as they can remember. Herd of 5.
CON: They’re old servants are falling away, Herd of 2.

Equipment: They have war ready material, but for the wrong war. Old weapons, some of which still work. Cars and other gear are at least 20 years old, and barely function.  They do have plenty of special weapons (silver bullets), though.
PRO: They have kept up with the times (similar to Compline).
CON: Such mundane things as cars and weapons no longer concern them. Similar to Vespers.

Resources: While their active endeavors have fallen by the wayside, the power of compounded interest keeps their wallets full. If only anyone understood what credit cards were. Assume every member has an effective resource of 3.
PRO:  Similar to Comline
CON: Similar to Vespers

Contacts: Most of the mortals (and their children) the Pack relied on have long since retired, been killed, or are in Prison. They have only a Contacts of 2, but those who have survived have prospered, and owe the Pack. Allies 5.
PRO: They’ve been able to keep abreast to the changing world, Contacts 5.
CON: No Allies to speak of, they have only a Contacts of 2.

Status: The are among the most well respected and feared Packs in all of the Sabbat. Members serve as Archbishops and Cardinals. Typical member has a 4, leaders have a 5. Though
PRO: Your Pack, for lack of a better word, “rules” the Sabbat. You count the Regent as a member. A “typical” member has at least a 5, possibly even a 6. Leaders even higher.
CON: Similar to a Compline.
Relationships: Many are desperate for an an association with such an illustrious Pack. Many more seek vengeance for past sins. At least one other Nocturn Pack and two Complines (plus assorted Vepsers) are enemies, while they have two Complines they can call friends.
PRO:  Even more seek your aid, and you have a handful of Vespers and an additional Compline as allies.
CON: You’re enemies gather, and you friends have proven false. Doubt the number of rivals, but only a single Compline and a Vesper or two dare stand with you.

Obligations: The Pack is expected to lead the Sabbat, and all the work that entails. Influencing mortals on a national scale, leading the charge against rival Sects and other enemies.  The vast majority of their time is spent tending to Sect business.
PRO: You’ve been able to work the system enough that dealing with other Pack’s messes takes up relatively little of your time.
CON: Perhaps your area is under constant assault, or the delicate balance between the packs is tipping. In either case, you are consumed with the needs of the Sect over your own.


Territory: Often in the ruined remains of ancient towns, or among the few wild and untamed places still left in the modern world. Mortals and other supernaturals give the area a wide berth. Base Hunting difficulty is 8 (6 for members)
          PRO: Your presence keeps other predators away, but you refrain from indulging in mortals affairs. As such, your area is surprisingly booming. Hunting Difficulty of 6 (4 for members)--though only a fool would hunt without your permission.
          CON: Your very presence has driven prey far from you--Hunting Difficulty of 10. Even for members.

Size: While once vast, the Pack has shrunk due to members leaving to form their own Packs, or attrition. 20-25 members, at least a quarter of whom are effectively Methuselehs.
PRO: Over the years, the Pack has retained the loyalty of many. Or, they just breed like rabbits. 50-60 members.
CON: There are the Eldests, and there are the few neonates left behind to care for them. The rest have fled. 10 or so members.

Defenses: Only a few know the truth, and those that due are appropriately fearful. It is difficult for any outsider to enter your territory without being noticed.
          PRO:  Entire generations of mortals have been bred to serve you. Even the beasts of the land obey you without question, and no one dares to make a move without you knowing about it.
          CON: Your isolation and paranoia has left you cut off from even the surrounding land. You rely on the, admittedly awe-inducing, powers of the Pack for your security.
Communal Haven: A massive, rambling structure. Multiple levels exist above ground, and even more are burrowed beneath. Few can remember where all the passages lead, and it has been centuries since anyone went down to where the darkness whispers.
          PRO:  Maybe it was a fire, or a tremendous earthquake, but your Haven has been forced to a more manageable size for the pack. While still impressive, it is far smaller than before, and there is less danger of others making their way down there.
          CON: Not only is the place huge, but it might just be vast beyond comprehension. There are exits and entrances that lead to places they shouldn’t, or can’t. Or, the entire place is on the verge of collapse.
Internal Politics:  Utterly divided.  The senior members, those that aren’t lost in torpor, don’t even follow Paths as the young generation understand them. Few bother speaking to each other except in the most dire of cases. They are more concerned with internal gamesmanship than the fate of Sects, or even the world.
          PRO: The Eldests have a plan, a plan to change the world. A plan that even the other members barely know about, but they make sure everyone follows.
          CON:  The Pack barely functions as one, as different coteries go their own way, barely bothering to even acknowledge each there. None can rely on each other as allies, let alone as pack mates.

Retainers: Only a few ancient servitors still remain, as well as unimaginable things lurking in the darkness below.
          PRO: An entire ghoul family serves the Pack, being their face in the world. While the family is more focused on its own matters, they will obey their “masters” such as they need.
          CON: Thanks to their monstrous appearance and utter madness, none that that can show their faces.
Knowledge: They have practically no ties to mortal institutions, and their decaying libraries can not only provide up to 2 in most knowledges, but their knowledge of the occult is unparalleled. 6+ for all Lore skills, though finding the right manuscript is a different matter...
          PRO:  The books and tomes haven’t yet completely rotted away, allowing up to 3.
          CON:  There was a Book of Nod here, once, but it was long since used as kindling. Lore is limited to 3.

Herd: Where once trains of mortals came when beckoned, now none remember their ancient obligations.
          PRO:  Perhaps it’s a loyal ghoul family willing to kidnap in the name of the Pack. Or perhaps a debased cult still clings to some semblance of life. In any case, the Pack has a herd of 2.

Equipment: Decayed garments and rusted, blood stained blades are all the Pack has, and even these are rarely bothered with.
          PRO: Among the piles of rot, one can find a few working firearms. Even more useful, are rare and forgotten weapons of the ancient days--silver and cold iron swords can be found, as well as other, stranger tools.
          CON: The clothes you were buried in.

Resources: Money is something the Pack has long ceased to worry about, and the mortal companies they once invested in have long since dissolved. Still, there are some ancient coins, gold bars, and other antiques that younger members can sell to generate an effectively Resources of 2.
          PRO:  Vast collections of art and jewelry still remain, and can be sold piecemeal to give a Resources of 4.
          CON: Money and finery are a forgotten concept. Effective Resources of 0.

Contacts: The pack keeps to itself, with no one to turn to for information on the constantly changing mortal world.
          PRO: A small network of obligations has been passed down, father to son, over the years. A few still remember their old obligations--Contacts of 2.

Status:  They are the most ancient and feared groups of Vampires in the world. The Camarilla Inner Circle is rightfully afraid of their power, and even the so-called “Regent” of the Sabbat listens carefully  when they speak. Even the youngest  members have a Status of 5, with elders and leaders having at least a 7.
          CON: The Sabbat isn’t sure if you’re real members or not, and are leery of anything the Pack says or does. Still, none can deny your power--Status of 3 for normal members, 5 for Leaders.

Relationships: Few enemies remain to challenge your Pack, though those that do are terrifying. Have at least one other Orthos group as an enemy, along with a smattering of weaker groups. You have a few Vespers packs in proper fear, whom you can call on if needed.
          PRO: Perhaps you’ve split off numerous times, but there are many who will answer the call of the “mother Pack”--you have at least 2 Complines you can rely on.
          CON: You stand alone, with significantly more enemies ready to pounce if you ever show weakness.

Obligations: The Orthos Pack does as it pleases, without concern for the feelings of others.
          CON: Despite your great age, you still involve yourself in Sect affairs, and spend a significant amount of time trying to teach the young ones the proper use of power.

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...