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Vampire Masquerade


Rosbjerg

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I'm currently running a rather huge campaign, with supercharged political atmosphere. I've rewritten much of the Camarilla and Kindred history. I've used more than 6 monhts to pull the story together..

 

Now I'm playing with another GM and 4 very experienced players.. But I'm looking for some input, I know most of you guys have a great deal of experience running PnP games, so I thought I could swing some ideas and concept at you.

 

For starters I've made London the De Facto capital of the Vampire world and I want to have a very large concentration of Kindred here - at first I thought of something near 200.000 Kindred in the city - but that would probably cause alot of doctors to write their thesis about the apparent chronic blood loss symptoms that seem to prevail in Great Britain. I've never played a game where we had such a high amount of Kindred per capita, have any of you? Does it get too messy or are there too many masquerade violations (on average). I was thinking that I could tone it down to 50.000 Kindred, would you personally think that's a believable number?

 

Secondly I'll try to make a complex manipulation system - where several factions, some within factions, are trying to pull both Kindred and human society in alot of different directions. I've tried that in AD&D with great succes, but Vampire is a different system that inheriently puts a great deal of emphasis on manipulation and covert actions, so I have to make it that much more complex - I would love if any of you could tell some anecdotes about campaigns you played, where either you, as the GM, or someone else were able to pull of a complex heist etc or fooled some faction into blaiming a different faction.

 

In my campaign I'll have Ventrue be the ultimate power, due in particular to one individual - who is responsible for the very different power structure.. I've decided to introduce a more feudal system to the Kindred society, where princes answer to a King/Regent and Kings/Regents answer to an Emperor. At the very top of society The Council of Three rules supreme. The guiding principle is that every council has either 3, 5 or 7 members - or for instance 3 Princes and a King with 2 votes (effectively a system of 5) and so on.

 

This allows the "young", but extremely influential vampires, to have some real power.

 

Any input would be appriciated, even if you yourself have a campaign and want to have some input from me or others - I thought we could use this thread as a kind of GM to GM inspiration.

Fortune favors the bald.

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I'm currently running a rather huge campaign, with supercharged political atmosphere. I've rewritten much of the Camarilla and Kindred history. I've used more than 6 monhts to pull the story together..

 

*snip*

 

Sounds interesting however unless you post your notes, details while we could make suggestions it is somewhat shooting in the dark. I mean if you just want ideas with just this premise thats fine but if you have worked 6 months on this there is a lot of background and details in this setting we'd really need to know before we can make informed suggestions.

 

My 2 coppers

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Jericho sassed me so I broke into his house and stabbed him to death in his sleep. Problem solved. - J.E. Sawyer

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"I cannot profess to be a theologian; but it seems to me that Christians who believe in a super human Satan have got themselves into a logical impasse with regard to their own religion. For either God can not prevent the mischief of Satan, in which case he is not omnipotent; or else He could do so if he wished, but will not, in which case He is not benevolent. Fortunately, being a pagan witch, I am not called upon to solve this problem."

- Doreen Valiente

---

Expecting "innovation" from Bioware is like expecting "normality" from Valve -Moatilliatta

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I know 200.000 (or even 50.000) is unbelievable - so I wanted to tone it down to 10.000.. which means 750/1. I was thinking that since London functions as the defacto capital this could work (as blood would be imported etc to meet demands).

 

overall there are slightly more vampires in the world I had in mind, but not alot more.. London is really the exception to the rule of 100.000/1

 

and 750 is too few for what I have in mind..

 

Thanks for the input Maria, I realize that my initial numbers were a bit overwhelming.. :)

Fortune favors the bald.

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  • 3 weeks later...

You could probably get away with 1000 vampires, but more than that and you'll probably have mask violations up the wazoo. As to the other supernatural entities, Wolves wouldn't be in the city, Mages would probably swarm the area because of the increased activity of the kindred, as would hunters.

 

Basically if you have to high a population of vampires, instantly every other faction not related to them or bound to a certain area would flock to the area and every night the average citizen would be hiding in their house because the streets would be filled with warring between the different groups.

 

I mean if you had 50k vampires in the same area there would be an entire section of the city dedicated to them (like a vampire version of chinatown). This sector of the city would be attacked again and again by Hunters, Mages, and the Technocracy all intent on wiping out a large % of the vampires in the world. It probably wouldn't matter the amount of mask violations or whatever, people would probably be able to sense the sheer amount of supernatural happenings in the area.

 

Also with a high amount of vampires would be a high amount of ghouls. you'd probably have more than Half of london directly connected to the kindred, which would be way to high an amount. At that point if I were running a mage/hunter/technocracy organization I'd probably write off the entire city and cleanse it with fire and nukes.

 

If you needed population values to be extremely high, probably your best bet would be to have it a temporary thing by having an event that draws HUGE amounts of vampires to the area, like finding and Antediluvian or something.

 

As to the politics, I don't have any real ideas, but you could rip off black company and have there be somebody on top who doesn't really care about the infighting between their underlings as long as what they want is done. In black company it was set up with Lady>Ten Who Were Taken (10 sorcerers from the previous era who'd been bound totally to Lady)>Mortal commanders. But the Ten would feud and infight (and kill each other later on) without interference from Lady.

 

For example, One of the Ten set up a trap for a Rebel commander. Another wanted in on the action, and wanted the reward because the money had been his war chest before being grabbed for the trap. Well the first taken let news of the others absence bet known to the Rebels in the area he was supposed to be watching. Rebel attack but are foiled by the appearance of a third taken. First taken's stock goes up with Lady, second's stock drops even lower, and third gets his giggles at embarrassing number 2.

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1. I don't see how 1000 vampires can be too few. That's an enormous canvas to work with.

 

2. London itself speaks of a melting pot of players, mages etc. The financial sector, and Lloyds in particular scream out mages.

 

3. It makes perfect sense to me that the place is swarming with vampires and their thralls. It's the only bloody reaosn that makes sense of the Londoner's insistence on staying in London, despite it being manifestly soot stained and miserable.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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I'm glad I ran this by you guys first.. :)

 

After thinking about it (again) and consulting my fellow GM, we've decided to go with 750-1000 vampires.. one in 10.000 is seems more reasonable - especially since there needs to be room for Mages etc. (like Maria said)..

 

Thanks for your input!

Fortune favors the bald.

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See if you can get hold of a copy of Time Out London (an events guide magazine). It should lend to easy colour pieces for meetings and bars.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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Something to keep in mind for your meeting places. There are abandoned tube stations all over London, along with telecoms bunkers and secret government installations. Then there's the covered over rivers like the Fleet.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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*Appears from no where...*

 

You could always base some of the fractions in other UK cities, with London acting as the 'capital' where the council meets and holds court. This would allow a lower fixed population within London itself, while allowing for larger numbers to turn up if required. (This would probably also fit slightly better with a feudal style ruling body).

It would also give the option of moving to other cities for plots - say a 'diplomatic' mission to a city controlled by a fraction that doesn't like the players that much.

 

 

As an aside, instead of Emperor have you considered calling the 'boss' by another title? Princeps (First Citizen) or Auctoritas principis (Supreme moral authority) were both titles held by Roman Emperors.

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Not too wh*re my site out but if you wish to post for ideas on my site its populated with nothing but V:tM and V:tR fans and players. Just to get another take on the topic for a wider pool of views. Just tossing that out there.

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---

"I cannot profess to be a theologian; but it seems to me that Christians who believe in a super human Satan have got themselves into a logical impasse with regard to their own religion. For either God can not prevent the mischief of Satan, in which case he is not omnipotent; or else He could do so if he wished, but will not, in which case He is not benevolent. Fortunately, being a pagan witch, I am not called upon to solve this problem."

- Doreen Valiente

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As an aside, instead of Emperor have you considered calling the 'boss' by another title? Princeps (First Citizen) or Auctoritas principis (Supreme moral authority) were both titles held by Roman Emperors.

 

Yes I actually took some inspiration from Homer (not the cartoon character) and considered naming the boss Anax and the lesser kings Basileis. But I rather wanted to fashion it around Latin instead of Greek and go with Emperor (from Imperator) - I know it's a bit clich

Fortune favors the bald.

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Basileos or Archelaos, from the top of my head.

 

I've always liked Demarch, myself, or marquis, for a nice princely apellation.

 

And as for Albion, there's an even older celtic name, but I'm not so sure which right now - might have been Brython.

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*Appears from no where...*

 

You could always base some of the fractions in other UK cities, with London acting as the 'capital' where the council meets and holds court. This would allow a lower fixed population within London itself, while allowing for larger numbers to turn up if required. (This would probably also fit slightly better with a feudal style ruling body).

It would also give the option of moving to other cities for plots - say a 'diplomatic' mission to a city controlled by a fraction that doesn't like the players that much.

 

 

As an aside, instead of Emperor have you considered calling the 'boss' by another title? Princeps (First Citizen) or Auctoritas principis (Supreme moral authority) were both titles held by Roman Emperors.

 

Having holdover Roman Governors running the show would be quite cool. It might explain why Boudica's revolt burned London (Londinium) to the ground. Note that Colchester was the official capital of Roman Britain (he says reading the wiki entry). The otherwise nonsensical Roman invasion of Britain may have been explicable by a desire to pre-emptively strike at the werewolf population on these isles.

 

The notion of having outlying subfiefs pleases me. Brighton has been a sinpit since the time of the Prince Regent. Beneath its white icing Victorian facades are all kinds of freaks, misfits, and drug addicts. I was once so pleased to meet a simple drunk homeless guy in Brighton that I gave him a fiver.

 

Bristol, on the far side of the country, is a port town, and I don't really know what you would want to put in there.

 

Wiltshire and Gloucestershire/Oxfordshire are a warren of bunkers and shadowy government installations, set amid the rolling green fields.

 

Further north you have the large cities of Manchester and Liverpool, but they are not as venerable as Newcastle and York. york in particular had a viking settlement.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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Further north you have the large cities of Manchester and Liverpool, but they are not as venerable as Newcastle and York. york in particular had a viking settlement.

 

Manchester was a Roman settlement, the remains of the fort built there can be found in Castlefield in Manchester. Manchester also has some very nasty areas and high-rises - in the 1990's the Moss side area of the city was home to a lot of gangs and gang-warfair with the drugs that go along with that. Things have improved, but there are more than a few areas of the city you would not want to visit at night.

 

Liverpool I know less well, but it has been a major port for several centuries. So in this setting it would be logical to say that a lot of Vampires would have ended up there if they had moved to England via ship.

 

Werewolves would probably find a good home in the Yorkshire Dales and Pennine Hills (Which end more or less around Manchester). The area is remote - or as remote as you can get in England - and, as an added bonus for RP, have real life reports of big cats in the area. (None have been confirmed, but there are blurry images and testimony by people who've seen such things). This is the sort of thing that could be dropped in as 'real' world reports in a fictional setting.

 

Wales and Scotland could have their own 'lords', as originally they were separate countries. Imagine a Welsh Vampire who originally fought the English still being around - there is a famous Welsh 'king' or one of his sons who might fit the bill nicely. Likewise imagine a Scottish Vampire who was against the act of union that joined the English and Scottish crowns...And who knows who, or what, is really living in some of the remote Hebrides islands....

 

For Vampires who want to live somewhere that has more of the feel of an older city Chester would fit the bill nicely. Oxford or Cambridge would be ideal for the more educated in England, while Edinburgh could fit the same role in Scotland.

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Thanks for taking the time to give these hints - they are a great help! I've been to England a few times, but I've never absorbed the local stories or heard about some of these places (like the Moss side area of Manchester). This is gonna flesh out my story nicely. :thumbsup:

Fortune favors the bald.

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Well, it helps being British...And it really helps that Manchester is my home town :thumbsup:

 

As an aside, Liverpool has the Williamson Tunnels, the history of which can be found here; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Williamson_Tunnels This could fit nicely with a Supernatural game, if you work on the assumption that the tunnels were built for a specific purpose....

 

The oldest name I can find for the British Isles is Albion, But they were also known as Cassiterides (Tin Islands) which comes from the Greek for tin - which was traded. The Romans themselves called the Islands Britannia.

 

If you are looking for geo/political division of the Island it would probably be better to look at the sub-Roman or Anglo-Saxon periods than the Roman period. This would give more options as to names of groups.

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Oxford certainly has some of the oldest sewers in the country. Cambridge sits amid the fens. Nasty places, the fens.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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