View Full Version : Gamer Tales The Bitefeast Club [A Vampire: The Masquerade Journal]

2014-11-26, 03:56 PM
I’ve been playing just about every week with a fun group over roll20 for over a year now, and multiple times a week for the last six months or so. They’re good friends. The roster has been in flux, which has been healthy to get new people and games. And recently, one of our newcomers has asked to run Vampire: The Masquerade.

Turns out just about all of us are totally into it, because we love lore-heavy games on the whole. This is our story of maybe-shenanigans.

Note: this campaign journal assumes you know the jargon terms V:tM uses, just, everywhere. The White Wolf Wiki can help with the unfamiliar ones.

I will use pseudonyms in place of our actual names.

Player: Shadow
Character: Conor O'Neill. This Gangrel is ex-military and is on a Path of Enlightenment. His attire involves military camo pants, and he has the messy Gangrel look you’d expect. He’s bloodthirsty and combat-focused—Protean 2, Animalism 1. Still basically bearable to be around, so long as you don’t catch him murdering a dude randomly. Irish.

Player: Bran
Character: Keegan Rayner. Friendly prettyboy Toreador, even though his Humanity is 6 at the start of play. Seems to be social-focused, as he took Presence, but I haven’t seen much of his abilities yet. Has a boytoy retainer. Bran is the most story-focused and least optimizing RPer in the group, so V:tM should be right up his alley.

Player: Chaos
Character: Eugenides. Has all of the everything for computer wizardry—Tremere with Path of Technomancy, a dice pool of 10 for computer stuff, and a way to reduce computer-related difficulties by 4. I haven’t seen much of his character yet, but that’s not really his fault, since Chaos hasn’t been able to be online much during the last couple of sessions. Humanity 6 (I think).
UPDATE: Chaos reports a Humanity of 5, and a Willpower of 10. His computer dice pools and difficulty reducers can sometimes apply to other stuff--he has Natural Cipher and Lightning Calculator merits.

Player: Red
Character: Adamo. Another Technomancy Tremere, but to much less of an extreme. Has Resources 5. Awkward and stuttering. Well-dressed. Red hasn’t been able to be around for Session 2, so I still don’t know much.

Player: Stairs
Character: Sam Cambell. Big Brujah bruiser who looks like a generic first person shooter character. Definitely a “salt of the earth” kind of character; he’s the guy with the pickup truck and rather crass speech. Still basically friendly, though, and Stairs is a fun roleplayer. Humanity 7.

Player: Lou (Me)
Character: Kayla McKinney. High school student-athlete that brings all the age-of-consent violators to the yard. Setite, but her Embrace went wrong and her Serpentis is corrupted into a sea-serpent themed variant called Nagahi. Sort of a manipulator and point-A-to-point-B type character. coterie thinks she’s a valley girl. Humanity 7.

Player: Chosen
Character: Lily Seibel. Tzimisce Antitribu, only allowed after negotiating with the ST. Told the Sabbat to shove it after her Embrace. Currently owns a hospital, and is thus our blood battery. Resources 5, as well. Personality can turn seriousness on and off as the situation demands. Player is very good at saying things to put people in uncomfortable positions. Humanity 7 (I think).

We’re here! And by “here”, I mean the auditorium in Elysium. Everyone is stratified horizontally into their clans and vertically into degrees of importance. People who matter are in the front, and we’re in the back. Conor has a prestigious sire, so he’s a little closer to the front. We’re all next to our sires.

Everyone describes their characters, we have some laughs about each other, and then back in-character, the seneschal- -Lawrence Goodspeed--shows up on stage. He’s a Nosferatu that looks like he’s 12 years old and rotting. Shortly thereafter, the Prince--Michael Alexandrius--enters stage left, blaring Majesty and with bling. He’s obviously Toreador.

“Good evening,” he says to everyone. Everyone replies with the same, so we do so as well. He does some standard thanking of the community or whatever, then points out that there are new faces. He introduces us all individually (this is glossed over), and pays particular attention to Lily--he mentions that she has useful services to the community. Our clans are not mentioned.

The Prince explains that, per tradition, the neonates are to be banded together into a coterie. There’s a haven ready for us and everything. Then he goes over the schedule with the seneschal—basically there’s just a reception and then an execution. So the Prince leaves and leaves everyone to mingle.

Our characters finally approach each other, but it takes a while. Keegan goes to find Adamo, who is currently messing with a Rubik’s cube designed so that each face creates a single symbol. As Keegan tries to lead Adamo to the rest of the coterie, he tries and fails to solve the cube. (“No, you have to solve all the sides.”) Sam and Kayla go to Lily. Sam hits it off with Lily, making small talk about clans and Lily’s supposed usefulness. After some out-of-game confusion about who is where and talking to who, Conor starts talking to Sam. They have very muscle-headed discussion. Kayla goes to talk to Lily, barely managing to get vampire-related terms right, and exchanges clan information with Lily. Lily whispers that she’s Tzimisce, Conor hears, and he spits at her feet. That’s going to set the tone for their relationship, I think. Lily doesn’t react. Finally, Keegan comes around with Adamo. (Eugenides’s player, Chaos, is missing, so his location is being handwaved.)

With everyone together, Lawrence Goodspeed shows up nearby, beckoning us. We approach, and he uses Obfuscate 3 to turn into The Amazing Generic Man to spare our neonate senses. He informs us about a job we have two nights from now: some vampire has amnesty, but needs to be interrogated for something anyway, so we’re being sent to do it. More details will be given when the time comes. We should be able to contact him on our cellphones.

Hey, look, we have cellphones in our pockets! Lolwut? I’m guessing Obfuscate. Conor remarks that he’s getting sloppy. The phones are loaded with one another’s new contact information, and contacts labeled “S and “Sh”, for the seneschal and sheriff. The phones are going to be important, apparently.

There’s a little more discussion, then the intro session is over. More stuff happens next!

We continue standing around for a bit until it’s time for the execution. Everyone files back into the horizontal and vertical stratifications. The sheriff, who isn’t a Brujah like you’d expect, apparently, comes in through the side door and drags some staked guy to the stage. The guy gets raised up by chains (?) and the seneschal asks if anyone objects to his destruction. No one says anything, though Kayla wishes she could. Adamo does a reverse-image search on his phone and finds out that he’s a caitiff who sired someone without permission—these phones are hooked up to ShrekNET, so Adamo can get this. The sheriff pulls out a vial of something Adamo recognizes as Assamite acid-blood, basically. Quietus stuff, and very difficult to get a hold of in a Camarilla city as unspecified as this one.

The sheriff pulls out the stake, the caitiff freaks out, and the sheriff declares his breaking of the Progeny tradition, the punishment of which is Final Death. At this point, the caitiff tries a Presence (Dominate?) power on the coterie. Some of us are immune by virtual of being 10th generation, and most of the rest make the roll to avoid it, but Kayla is affected. He telepathically tells her to help, and, well, she goes to do that. She climbs onto the bleachers and starts going around the crown to approach the caitiff. The Sheriff makes eye contact and basically says “don’t do that.” It breaks the effect, and Kayla stops running, but doesn’t step down from the bleachers.

The sheriff declares that using Disciplines in Elysium is another thing he should die for, so he pours the acid-blood in the caitiff’s mouth. He basically bursts into flame and slowly becomes ash. Scary.

People start filing out now. We’ve got to get to our haven and check it out--or at least, some of us do. The Tremere are going to the chantry, so that means Sam, Conor, Kayla, Lily, and Keegan have to get there. Sam allows Keegan and Lily to ride in his pickup truck, but since there's not a lot of room, Kayka and Conor decide to walk.

On the way, Conor and Kayla decide to hunt. Conor just finds a guy in an alley and superkills him; Kayla takes a homeless guy to a shelter and drinks a blood point from him along the way as repayment. Everyone makes to the haven without incident, though. It's under a nightclub, with no windows, and has identical rooms for everyone--along with basic furnishings like couches and a deep freezer.

After checking out the haven, the coterie collectively decides it's done being serious for the night and goes to the nightclub above for fun. The Tremere are left out, though. Soon, the vampires are ready to sleep, and Lily goes to her house (Resources 5) while the rest of the non-Tremere sleep in the haven.

The next day is the day before the interrogation. Keegan wakes up and peeks out his door to notice someone with a shattered mirror pendant standing in the living room. Once everyone gets changed, in our respective rooms, we go meet the guy, who introduces himself as Thomas, the harpy for Elysium. He informs us that Kindred society is based on favors, and unlocks some encrypted information on our phones that Adamo has been investigating earlier. This information explains what each of the prigomen have control over and some personal info about them--name, age, and generation, with guesses if any of that is unknown. Thomas also shows us the one-time bonus blood packs in the deep freezer to get us started--mechanically, there's 21 blood points available when we need them. Awesome.

Conor has the bright idea to ask Thomas if he needs any favors, and Thomas responds by handing him a brown envelope, with instructions to deliver it to a particular bartender somewhere. At this point, the coterie splits up:

- The Tremere players are basically unavailable, so they're doing whatever it is Tremere do in the chantry.
- Lily is busy managing her hospital.
- Conor and Keegan are off to deliver a package.
- Sam is off to go get a flat-screen TV for the haven.
- Kayla is making friends out in the city.

Not much to say about the Tremere and Lily, except that Eugenides will be doing a lot of things in the background that are between him and the DM only. Sam handwaves his purchase, installs the TV, and doesn't do anything of interest for the rest of the night.

Kayla goes to do errands and hang out with her herd--a bunch of skaters at a run-down skate park. She impresses them with her sizable Dex + Athletics dice pool a few times to make them like her, then asks what they've heard and seen on the streets. They point her to where, incongruously, a black high-end vehicle was seen dumping stuff in a dumpster. So she investigates that, and as it turns out, there's someone chopped up into individual pieces and smothered in towels, concealed within trash bags. Kayla keeps looking until she finds his decorative dog tags that have an address on them, and decides to keep them under her bed in the haven. Then she decides today has been 2spooky and goes just goes partying.

Meanwhile, Conor and Keegan have more interesting encounters. They investigate the package using Keegan's Auspex, and it's full of paper. Well, duh. Later, they make it to the bar without much incident--it's a smooth jazz club, as it turns out. They hand over the package to the bartender, who gives them a white envelope back, with instructions to hand it to Thomas. Keegan asks for a drink on the house, which he gets--a bloody mary, of course. The two listen to the jazz for an hour before deciding they should get going, and when they do so, Conor eventually notices that they're being followed by a sttandard black-leather-jacket biker. Conor and Keegan round a corner, and when the biker follows, Conor pins him to the wall and asks him what the deal is. Biker, being a dimwit, asks for money. At this point, Conor starts roughing him up, while Keegan spots the biker's friends coming by.

A combat ensues. Conor can't use his claws without breaking the Masquerade, so he resorts to lots of punching, and has a lot of difficulty with it. Keegan successfully turns on Presence against the other bikers, suggests that they leave before they get hurt, and they do so. Eventually Conor takes down the biker by knocking him into Incapacitated, then takes 4 blood points from him to restock those lost. Keegan joins in, taking another 3...which kills the biker. Degeneration roll! For Keegan, not Conor, obviously. Thankfully, he makes it. "Maybe we went too far," he tells Conor, and promptly loots the corpse--Keegan gets his wallet, and Conor gets his brass knuckles. One disagreement about self-defense later, the two go find Eugneides because they don't know where Thomas is; he uses a Tremere ritual to lead them to Elysium and basically park the two right outside the door where Thomas is doing Important Things. He's talking to some other figures, and when given the package, he grants Conor and Keegan a "trivial boon" to be claimed later. Oh, and the white package contains money (bwuh?), which he hands $500 of to Conor and Keegan, each. Natch, Conor decides to go buy a gun--a Glock, I think--since those actually work in combat without breaking the Masquerade.

Eventually everyone gets to sleep. Session over. Interrogation comes next!

Update: Add information on Eugenides, at Chaos's request, his bit on helping Conor and Keegan find Thomas, the fact that he's doing background stuff.