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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default From the Desk of Arch Whitman, Malkavian...

    Hello, Giant in the Playground! I suppose it's about time for another of my campaign journals.

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    Let's get introductions out of the way: this time around, we're playing in the old World of Darkness, and I am playing Arch, an eighth-generation Malkavian in New York City, which is currently under the supervision of Prince Donald, a less-than-ancient Ventrue who took power in the last few years. Arch was initially a scientist taken into the fold to study the vampiric condition, and since then has been a vampire for more than thirty years, but most of that time was spent in relative isolation. Despite being physically-frail and possessing an eerie presence, Arch is still quite adept at sneaking and the darker parts of socializing, such as lying and manipulating the emotions of others.

    Also participating in this little chronicle are the following PCs:

    Alaire, a very un-Ventrue-like Ventrue. His backstory spans countless notebooks, coming from a very different sort of roleplay, if you catch my drift. Very fabulous dresser, if you see what I'm saying. The twisted little epic has a cast of over two dozen named characters, the straight ones of which can be counted on naught but a thumb. Also supposedly a talented singer. Probably the most outspoken Blue-blood you've ever seen.

    Ossa, an elder Caitiff and Alaire's supposed "soulmate." Likewise possesses enough backstory to crush a person, only Ossa's got Protean 6 to back it up. Ossa was initially an NPC for the first few sessions of our chronicle, until Alaire's player convinced Ossa's player to join in on the fun. He doesn't stand up and assert himself in-game very often, but given his Nature, that's actually not too surprising.

    Bill Carter, a Brujah who was a stunt man in life. Very impulsive, temperamental, and his skull likely has a rock embedded within - in other words, a stereotypical Brujah. His player ended up having to opt out of the game after a few sessions due to work and stress and other unfun stuff.

    John, an Akashic Brother. That's right, it's not just a vampire game! Lives in a magically-fortified super-house that serves as a haven for pretty much every splat in the game. He tries not to involve himself in a lot of the vampire politics, and honestly, I can't fault him for it.

    Gemma, a Slayer Caste demon. She works in the morgue, and can do zombie stuff. When I first wrote this post, I wasn't too-knowledgeable about the whole "Demon" thing, but I've discovered that despite her utter lack of empathy, she can be very useful.

    Leeann, a Gangrel. A petite redhead with a ghouled gang leader, she's a relatively-new addition to the game. She's not done too much to distinguish herself in the Kindred community, but at least she's a fast learner.

    Julius, a Tremere. A bookish, British Kindred who was alive for the Victorian era, he just might be a little too ambitious. We'll see soon enough...


    Wow, wouldja look at the time? I'll get around to posting story stuff tomorrow, or maybe after our game session.
    Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 2011-01-23 at 08:03 AM.

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    Default Re: From the Desk of Arch Whitman, Malkavian...

    Awww, you got me excited. And here I thought that Arch Whitman was a Malkavian title and Leaves of Grass took on a whole new level of meaning. Walt Whitman really could do with a nice vamping though, now that I'm thinking about it...

    Why do I get the feeling they're toreadors that've found some way to pass themselves off as non-toereadors though? Or they've found ways to get access to that toreadorean workaround... Probably the idea of two vampires who weren't toreadors seeing the point of it...
    Last edited by Coidzor; 2010-12-10 at 10:26 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Keld Denar View Post
    +3 Girlfriend is totally unoptimized. You are better off with a +1 Keen Witty girlfriend and then appling Greater Magic Make-up to increase her enhancement bonus.
    Homebrew
    To Do: Reboot and finish Riptide

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    Default Re: From the Desk of Arch Whitman, Malkavian...

    Quote Originally Posted by Coidzor View Post
    Awww, you got me excited. And here I thought that Arch Whitman was a Malkavian title and Leaves of Grass took on a whole new level of meaning.
    Sorry to disappoint.

    Quote Originally Posted by Coidzor View Post
    Walt Whitman really could do with a nice vamping though, now that I'm thinking about it...
    Interesting idea! To the time machine!

    Quote Originally Posted by Coidzor View Post
    Probably the idea of two vampires who weren't toreadors seeing the point of it...
    Blast! Editing your own post before I can reply properly, eh? I'll catch you yet, Coidzor...
    Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 2010-12-10 at 10:29 PM.

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    Default Re: From the Desk of Arch Whitman, Malkavian...

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
    Wow, wouldja look at the time? I'll get around to posting story stuff tomorrow, or maybe after our game session.
    (dramatic interjection) That's a lie, me! I and I both know that if I don't post it now, I'll just procrastinate some more and blame it all on something inconsequential. I shall post NOW!

    Yeah, it's gonna be kinda like that. Here's the first session!

    Session One: Big Trouble...
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    Arch starts his night relaxing at his ghoul's library, reading over some scientific journals. Deciding to check in with the vampiric community, he heads to Elysium, taking a scientific paper on robots with him. Arch notes that one of the Sheriff's deputies is present, and takes the opportunity to perceive his aura with Auspex. Sensing the weirdest pattern from the aura, he looks a little deeper, using the Eyes of Chaos Dementation power to make sense of it all.

    Arch sees a twisting web of black conspiracy closing in on Deputy Alexander, though he notes that Alex is not the primary target. Shaken back into the normal world, Arch observes that the sight was enough to make him tear his paper. He asks Alex to speak with him personally, and explains the gist of what he saw. Due to Arch's penchant for riddle-speak, he had to repeat himself a couple of times. Alex asks that he investigate the matter, and Arch agrees to do so.

    Darkest Developments...
    While that's happening, Ossa and Alaire are just beginning to enjoy their night, when Ossa suddenly just gets up, throws on some pajamas, and walks out. Alaire, confused by Ossa's robotic behavior, follows after him. Ossa makes his way to the most stereotypically-Gothic nightclub possible, which happens to be another of the city's Elysiums. It would likely be palpably-ironic if it wasn't a deliberate decision by the Toreador owner.

    Alaire observes his elder boytoy talking to a burly biker at a table. Being the possessive little bloodsucker that he is, Alaire butts right into the conversation, dramatically and heatedly confronting Ossa about his actions. Ossa, in turn, has no clue what Alaire is talking about, and the biker, amused, begins speaking in Russian, which Alaire does not speak. Ossa, on the other hand, seems to understand perfectly.

    Now, at the same time, Bill is hanging out here, just enjoying himself and his ghouls, when he sees these out-of-place people having an argument a few tables over. When he wanders over, however, the biker stands and bids them adieu, nearly driving the seething Alaire into a frenzy. Bill decides to follow the biker out, and in turn, the two fabulous vampires decide to shadow Bill and the biker.

    Bill observes the biker has disappeared into a parking garage, and decides to follow after by ducking into an alley and jumping up one story at a time. Around the third floor or so, he spots the leather-clad fellow climbing onto a motorcycle. He walks up to confront him, at which point the biker, wanting none of this obnoxious vampire's attitude, points back in the opposite direction and says, "Walk." Bill proceeds to do exactly that, at least until the Dominate wears off and he realizes what the biker did.

    At the same time, Alaire and Ossa decided to enter the parking garage via the conventional way, using Dominate on the guard to get in. They end up "meeting" with the biker about midway down, at which point they also "meet" with Bill, who uses a Celerity-and-Potence-aided tackle to tackle the biker right off his chopper and into the concrete wall, breaking his neck.

    "Great," fumes Alaire, "you killed him." Bill assures him, however, that he'll "take care of it." Left without a clue, Alaire and Ossa head back to their apartment to figure out what to do, and Bill... well, what if you just found a big cheeseburger, lying there? He drains the body of seven blood points, and then just... walks off. Only once he's left does he think that perhaps a camera might have recorded the whole event, at which point he furiously walks back in, convinces the guard to leave his post ("I thought I heard gunfire up on the second floor!"), and then rips out the various electronics from the security station with his bare hands.

    I have a feeling this guy's gonna fit right in.
    And that was the end of that session. Questions, comments? I'll try and have another addition for you lot to peruse before long.
    Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 2011-01-23 at 08:11 AM.

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    Default Re: From the Desk of Arch Whitman, Malkavian...

    Update time? Update time!

    Session 2: Electric Boogaloo
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    This session mostly dealt with the results of the last session: so, Arch is investigating for Alexander, Bill is having a bit of a bad night, Alaire and Ossa are trying to figure out what happened with the biker guy, and Gemma is discovering an exsanguinated cadaver being delivered to her morgue.

    While it's not like she's never seen a corpse drained of its blood before, Gemma had never seen one drained such without so much as a break in his skin. Where'd his blood go? Her first suspicion, of course, is that vampires did it; being a supernatural who wasn't born yesterday, she'd have to be blind to be unaware of their presence in the city.

    At the same time, Bill's doing some 'fessing up to his primogen, "Sin," who resides at a heavy-metal nightclub called "The Edge III." Apparently, it's a bit of a running joke in the ST's games that it keeps getting blown up somehow. Sin is not very happy with him about that.

    At the same time, I'm making just a bit of headway in my investigation of Alex. Asking to hold a personal object of his, Arch is handed a katana. Taking hold of it, he discovers that the conspiracy is centered around Alex's sire. Alex was also disappointed to discover that I'd learned his last name from the reading. However, he gets a call from Sin about some bricks-for-brains Brujah who'd drained a biker and just left it. So, looks like Alex and I are going to be visiting the morgue...

    "I'm Agent Manheim, and this is Agent White..."
    We don some FBI-style outfits and pay the morgue a visit. We B.S. to Gemma that we need the cadaver for an ongoing investigation (my character observing her true dark angelic appearance), and she and Alex go to handle the paperwork, leaving me to Obfuscate and make off with the body. Just to be safe, Arch spends a little more on boosting his Strength than is necessary, and carries the body out of the morgue unnoticed.

    That is, until Gemma realizes the body is missing. And being a demon, she's able to see through my Obfuscate on the security footage (though I'd still taken pains to avoid the security cameras where possible, and to hide my face in all of them). But by that time, I'm in the car, waiting for Alex.

    See, we're not just taking the body to make it disappear, either; we're also nabbing it so we can investigate the problem for Alaire and Ossa, who had the sense to call some of the more influential vampires in the city. So we meet with Sin at the Edge III, along with a midget Tremere named Wainwright, who intends to do some ooky-spooky blood voodoo on the body.

    Oh, and Bill decided to call Gemma, and talk about about the whole misunderstanding... and try to blackmail her into keeping mum about everything. And he gave away our location as part of his blackmailing attempt.

    So a very-miffed Gemma shows up at the Edge III, opening the door of our private room to see me, her cadaver, Alex, Bill, Sin, the two fabulous vampires, and Wainwright, who is standing on a chair and doing his Thaumaturgy... thing. Sin ignites his hands in some sort of fire and pounces at Gemma, pinning her to the wall and demanding she explain herself. Gemma assumes her apocalyptic form, her mortal visage superceded by the appearance of a dark angel... and does exactly that.

    "...and then this lunkhead tried to blackmail me!"
    Sin sighs and lets her go, she resumes her more mortal appearance, but in that heated little moment, that corpse somehow is now a zombie under Gemma's control. She has it lie back down on the table and lets Wainwright continue his little ritual (no pun intended). The Tremere explains that he discovered that the guy was, in fact, a ghoul, specifically of a Ventrue.

    "Yes, a Ventrue," replies Arch. "Her name's Alairia, and she's a Sabbat."

    ...at which point about half the group mutters under their breaths, "...freakin' Malkavians."

    What they don't know was that I'd had ample opportunity to get the corpse's life-story (as it were) from my having handled it - after all, it is an object.

    We conclude that Ossa had been a victim of Dominate by said Sabbat, and may even have been subjected to the Vaudlerie in the past. That might explain the one-hundred-and-fifty-year gap in his memories.

    Also in the news that night, as something that definitely caught the attention of my character, was the fact that a number of hospitals had received people who were suddenly miraculously-healed some time after being admitted. Why does this catch my character's eye? One of his ghouls owns a mental hospital. The idea that the church intends to go poking its holy nose into our business investigating these faith healings is very distressing to Arch... but that's stuff for another session!
    As always, questions, comments?
    Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 2011-01-23 at 08:11 AM. Reason: Bwahaha!

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    Default Re: From the Desk of Arch Whitman, Malkavian...

    I'm pretty sure Obfuscate doesn't work on camera's
    And I'd put Bill's life expectancy at about a week at this rate
    All Comicshorse's posts come with the advisor : This is just my opinion any difficulties arising from implementing my ideas are your own problem

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    Default Re: From the Desk of Arch Whitman, Malkavian...

    Quote Originally Posted by comicshorse View Post
    I'm pretty sure Obfuscate doesn't work on cameras...
    The way we ended up ruling it was that Obfuscate doesn't work on cameras, but if a person's watching the cameras, they're still affected by the Obfuscate and don't notice you. On the other hand, if someone goes over the tapes after you've broken Obfuscate, they'll notice you. I believe this interpretation is supported in the Midnight Seige book as well.
    Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 2010-12-12 at 03:46 PM.

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    Default Re: From the Desk of Arch Whitman, Malkavian...

    Nice idea, I'll have to suggest it to our ST
    All Comicshorse's posts come with the advisor : This is just my opinion any difficulties arising from implementing my ideas are your own problem

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    Default Re: From the Desk of Arch Whitman, Malkavian...

    I always find your journals to be a good read count, i will be watching this one with interest.

    Keep it up!

    just as a point of intrest tho, how long do your sessions go for on average?

    You dont seem to get much done.
    Aside from "have fun", i think the key to GMing is putting your players into situations where they need to make a choice that has no perfect outcome available. They will hate you for it, but they will be back at the table session after session.

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    Default Re: From the Desk of Arch Whitman, Malkavian...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaun View Post
    I always find your journals to be a good read count, i will be watching this one with interest.
    Thanks!
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaun View Post
    just as a point of intrest tho, how long do your sessions go for on average?
    It starts whenever everyone can actually get together (usually mid-evening) and generally goes around midnightish.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaun View Post
    You dont seem to get much done.
    That's because everyone in the group took the "No Attention Span" flaw IRL.

    That, and you may consider these first few session logs to be somewhat-abridged. For instance, when Bill had his conversation with Gemma, it was a tad more drawn-out than that.

    Also don't forget that some of the players (Bill, Gemma) are newbies to the World of Darkness (and for Alaire and Ossa, tabletop games in general), and sometimes gotta have stuff explained to them by the ST ("He can get away with using Auspex 2 in Elysium because you can't really catch him at it. People notice, however, if you use Celerity 4.").
    Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 2010-12-12 at 05:14 PM.

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    Default Re: From the Desk of Arch Whitman, Malkavian...

    Quote Originally Posted by comicshorse View Post
    I'm pretty sure Obfuscate doesn't work on camera's
    And I'd put Bill's life expectancy at about a week at this rate
    Crazed ST here, supporting Arch's statement. The obfuscate effect lasts exactly 1 hour per dot of Obfuscate. The tapes always show the true identity of the user, but the effect lingers for hours.

    Afer the aforementioned time limit is up, the effect wears off and people see it truely as is. Its house rule that works for my group for 7 years.

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    Default Re: From the Desk of Arch Whitman, Malkavian...

    Might as well post the details of the next session.

    Session 3: Fun & Games...
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    Hot Property...
    This whole time, John's been wanting a little bit of space next to his refuge for its magical properties. Node, nexus, something like that - the building being constructed next door's a hot spot for it, and John wants to obtain it. He's been doing a little detective work, and has discovered that the deed to the property lies in vampiric hands. Of course, when John starts showing interest in getting it, this dark architect informs him that such a trade might be possible... after a certain number of favors have been done. Following that, he decides to hang out at that stereotypically-Gothic club, and meets Gemma, Arch (who was very entertained to make his acquaintence), and Alaire.

    Unwanted Guest...
    Bill is relaxing at his ghoul's home. Said ghoul is apparently a rich software designer, living in a very upscale apartment. He hears a knock on the door. Bill goes to answer it, checking through the peephole just in time to see the barrel of a very large handgun press up to it and fire.

    Twisting out of the way, Bill nonetheless gets grazed, only to discover that it's an incendiary round. The door gets knocked off its hinges, and the gunman steps in... only to discover that Bill's no longer in a mood to play around, and proceeds to beat the poor ghoul down (though this time, he manages to not kill him). Calling one of his police contacts, he arranges it such that the police will take longer than usual to arrive. Remembering the previous nights' events, he phones Alaire, Ossa, Arch, and Gemma. John decides to tag along as well, once he hears about the situation from Gemma.

    Arch, being one of those vampires who doesn't think of a computer as a magic box filled with demons, texts Gemma asking that their differences be put aside, since a potential alliance would be far more useful. She agrees.

    An Unexpected Party...
    IIRC, Alaire and Ossa arrived first, followed by John and Gemma and myself shortly after. John uses magic to repair the door (I forget the specifics on how, but he used actual tools in the process to make it less vulgar or somesuch). He also pockets the gun.

    When everyone's arrived, Bill begins explaining what had transpired. They decide to let John heal the guy up just a little, and then interrogate him. Using Dominate, Alaire makes him reveal pretty much everything. He informs the group that he's a ghoul of Alairia, who sent him to take care of the annoyance that had interfered with her plans (i.e., when Bill killed the biker). He says Alairia's working out of nearby Newark, New Jersey. Alaire also gets the guy's home address.

    While they're doing this, Arch persuades John to let him "read" the gun. He finds that the bullets are of a special make, such that normally they can only be produced with magic, and that such a special bullet is usually the work of the Camarilla Tremere.

    When Alaire's run out of questions, Arch uses the Dementation power of Passion on the ghoul, intensifying his emotional responses, followed by a liberal application of The Haunting to give him tactile hallucinations. He mouths to the ghoul, "I am stealing your face!" while using the Obfuscate power Mask of a Thousand Faces to resemble the ghoul. He gets about half a second of freakout before Arch dials everything back down, and the ghoul says, "You're just like that other vampire!"

    Of course, Alaire hadn't thought to ask if there were other vampires involved...

    With Opened Eyes...
    Indeed, after some further questioning, he admitted that in addition to Alairia there was a psychopath vampire named Sticks, a shadow-manipulating vampire they referred to as the "Priest," a creepy seven-foot tall vampire all covered in spikes, and a massively-muscled vampire. He also is made to produce the address of their usual meeting-place.

    Following that, the others decided to kill the ghoul, only to spend thirty minutes of game-time discussing what to do with the body, triggering a Frenzy in Bill from constantly ticking him off with petty barbed reminders of his failures (okay, that bit was mostly Alaire), and then Ossa lifting Bill by his throat until the Frenzy wore off.

    In the meantime, Arch decided to Obfuscate and see if the police were here yet. While he's out scouting, he notes that he senses someone observing him... obviously, something's wrong. On the other hand, Arch doesn't seem to be able to see just who's doing the observing, even after kicking on the various flavors of Auspex. He reports back in and informs everyone such.

    Joker's Wild...
    We decide to arm up and pop over to the guy's place. Gemma's boyfriend is an arms dealer, so we get some pistols with the serial numbers filed off and make our way to Newark. The ex-ghoul's place seems a little "off" to Arch, who points out the closet in particular. John catches on to what Arch is saying, and discovers a mass of C4 rigged to explode.

    Bill whips on Celerity and disarms it, then decides to pocket some of the C4, by which I mean he straps trash bags stuffed with all fifty pounds of it to his back. John and I fail to find anything else of significance, so we wander outside, only to see an ethereal straightjacketed figure with pale-white skin, red eyes, and long unkempt hair, just floating there. Picture the Joker from The Batman. Yeah, sorta like that, as a vampire. He was less-than-pleased to see we had survived, too. He decides to take it out on Bill by blasting him with Dementation 5, and convincing the newly-maddened Bill to hop on his motorcycle and come with him to the water treatment plant.

    We catch up to them at the water treatment plant, only for Bill to suddenly start fighting his derangements. I decide to give him a quick bit of assistance dealing with his madness, while the astral Sticks heads inside. We get about half a second to realize this, when suddenly a massive vampire crumples John's car and throws it at Ossa, who dodges, leaving it embedded in the wall of the water treatment plan.

    Ossa then proceeds to waste this big bad Sabbat Brujah in one turn.

    Apparently the spiky vampire was watching when that happened, and he wasn't too happy with that, either. Took on this horrid monster-form with giant wings of blood and tried to attack us... only for Ossa to dust this elder Tzimisce in one turn as well. If you ask me, as far as combat goes, we've got a bit of the Gandalf Syndrome here...

    Anyway, John and I go inside to try and confront the Malkavian antitribu. Inside is a veritable madhouse, as it's become clear that Sticks has used Dementation 5 on pretty much everyone inside, and is trying to persuade one of the head people to put a nasty chemical in the water. However, at the appearance of the "no-fun mage," Sticks decides to beat it.

    Cleaning Up...
    My, if we're going to keep this one under wraps, we've got quite some work to do, now don't we? I message my primogen as well as the prince, informing them of the events that transpired tonight. A quick examination of the security area reveals that the security footage is being backed up remotely by this place back in NYC. When I inform the prince of this, he says that he'll send someone there to deal with it while we clean up here. Between Alaire and myself, we manage to calm everybody down and purge any memories of the little incident, after which we take Bill back to his primogen to ensure he's taken care of. John stays behind to help influence how the police report turns out (plus he needs to talk to an insurance guy to see if he can get a replacement for his car! "You wouldn't believe the night I had... and then this baby carriage just JUMPS OUT at me!")... and if I recall correctly, that was it for that session.
    More stuff next time!
    Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 2011-01-31 at 05:47 PM.

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    Default Re: From the Desk of Arch Whitman, Malkavian...

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
    Ossa then proceeds to waste this big bad Sabbat Brujah in one turn.

    Apparently the spiky vampire was watching when that happened, and he wasn't too happy with that, either. Took on this horrid monster-form with giant wings of blood and tried to attack us... only for Ossa to dust this elder Tzimesce in one turn as well. [COLOR="White"]If you ask me, as far as combat goes, we've got a bit of the Gandalf Syndrome here...
    Tell me was this 'Ventrue' killing machine moving incredibley fast perhaps ?
    Last edited by comicshorse; 2010-12-15 at 01:39 PM.
    All Comicshorse's posts come with the advisor : This is just my opinion any difficulties arising from implementing my ideas are your own problem

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    Default Re: From the Desk of Arch Whitman, Malkavian...

    Quote Originally Posted by comicshorse View Post
    Tell me was this 'Ventrue' killing machine moving incredibley fast perhaps ?
    Ossa's a Caitiff. Thought I said that already... hold on, lemme check... yep.

    Or do you mean the guy we were fighting? Because that was a Tzimisce. We didn't fight any Ventrue...
    Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 2011-01-31 at 05:45 PM.

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    Default Re: From the Desk of Arch Whitman, Malkavian...

    My mistake
    All Comicshorse's posts come with the advisor : This is just my opinion any difficulties arising from implementing my ideas are your own problem

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    Default Re: From the Desk of Arch Whitman, Malkavian...

    Was Ossa still a STPC during this last session?
    Aside from "have fun", i think the key to GMing is putting your players into situations where they need to make a choice that has no perfect outcome available. They will hate you for it, but they will be back at the table session after session.

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    Default Re: From the Desk of Arch Whitman, Malkavian...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaun View Post
    Was Ossa still a STPC during this last session?
    Nope; that was, in fact, the session where Ossa's player got introduced.
    Quote Originally Posted by comicshorse View Post
    My mistake
    I take it you were thinking of Alaire?
    Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 2010-12-12 at 11:14 PM.

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    Default Re: From the Desk of Arch Whitman, Malkavian...

    Session Four: The Fourth Session
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    Naturally, after the last night's events, we had some 'splaining to do. We end up sitting in front of Prince Donald, doing our very best to convey exactly what had happened. Oddly enough, the guy with the penchant for speaking cryptic did most of the talking.

    Donald understands, and is quite distressed with our little problem. Alaire also mentions how Ossa has literally over a hundred years of memories blocked by extensive use of Dominate; naturally, it's in everyone's best interests if Donald can arrange for that to get fixed. The memories get unblocked, revealing that Ossa was the veritable slave of a Sabbat vampire in the past; they even subjected him to the Vaulderie.

    Course of Action...
    Donald suggests that Ossa declare domain in Newark, so that he can spearhead a crusade against the Sabbat therein. Sin (the Brujah primogen, remember?) comes up with the idea of masquerading Ossa as a Brujah (seeing as how he's got high levels of both Potence and Celerity), and agrees to give him some quick tutoring in the history of the clan. He also finds it hilarious.

    Said holding of domain will, of course, be announced on the next conclave.

    Orphans in the Animal House...
    Eventually John is contacted by Arturo, the Toreador primogen. Amongst the city's Kindred, he is recognized as an architect of some renown, especially when it comes to designing ultra-secure fortress-havens. Arturo, you see, is the Kindred who owns the property John desires (or more specifically, the magical node on which it lies), and being the smart cookie that he is, he understands its value to John. Since favors are the currency of vampires, Arturo is willing to trade it to John for a few small "boons."

    John decides to bring Arch along for the ride, since he feels it'd be best he has a vampire on his side when he makes such a deal.

    What sort of favor does Arturo want? Well, he desires something a little on the covert side; he explains to John that he wants an eye kept on the Anarchs, whom he feels are "up to something." When Arch asks just what Arturo expects John to find out, Arturo harshly responds that it's none of his business. Ouch!

    And, of course, it comes as no surprise to Arch that Arturo's Nature is "Architect." Anyway, John agrees to the plan, and Arch agrees to help John out.

    Well, starting on that little investigation, John finds that the Anarchs have a meeting-place at the zoo on Staten Island. He buys a number of webcams, and stealth-installs them all during the day.

    Hospital Healing...
    Remember those miraculous recoveries that Arch found out about? It just got a lot more personal - specifically, the mental hospital that his ghoul retainer owns had a number of its patients cured of some of their most debilitating derangements. Arch decides to investigate, and discovers that overall, the healings have very little rhyme or reason to them, and that he's not the only one about to investigate. Well, he decides to check the hospital's security footage to see what he can find, only to discover the guard fast asleep and the footage erased. There's something weird about the sleeping guard, but Arch can't put his finger on it, so he decides to employ his insightful little talents, and finds a strange supernatural symbol imprinted on the guard's aura.

    Odd. Arch draws the symbol, and sends a picture of it to the prince, asking if he's familiar with it. He gets an immediate reply back, "No, I've never seen it." The letters jumble for a moment, forming the words, "He's lying to you!"

    I love being a Malkavian.

    "Can we speed this up, and set it to Yakety Sax?"
    So, the next night, John and Arch decide to look at the footage from the webcams John had installed at the zoo. We see the sight of numerous Anarchs running amok, carrying handguns and blasting each other with abandon, clearly enjoying themselves. Suppose there's some sense to it; they're vampires, it's not like three rounds to the gut's gonna kill them. John informs Arturo of this "development," and is told to nonetheless continue, and be sure to check the feed for new developments every once in a while.
    Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 2011-01-23 at 08:13 AM.

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    Default Re: From the Desk of Arch Whitman, Malkavian...

    So the Prince person is lying to you guys about something he sent you to investigate? Curious...
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    Default Re: From the Desk of Arch Whitman, Malkavian...

    Quote Originally Posted by Lycan 01 View Post
    So the Prince person is lying to you guys about something he sent you to investigate? Curious...
    You mean the bit about the healings? He didn't send me to investigate that. But he may have lied to us about something he sent us to investigate nonetheless...
    Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 2010-12-20 at 12:25 AM.

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    Default Re: From the Desk of Arch Whitman, Malkavian...

    Whoops, my bad. I thought that just happened to be one of the "boons" the Prince wanted from John.
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    Default Re: From the Desk of Arch Whitman, Malkavian...

    Quote Originally Posted by Lycan 01 View Post
    Whoops, my bad. I thought that just happened to be one of the "boons" the Prince wanted from John.
    Primogen. The Prince rules the city, the city's Primogen are the city's clan representatives.

    Donald McCallis is the Prince.
    Thomas Arturo is the Toreador Primogen.
    Sin is the Brujah Primogen.
    Carter Vanderweyden is the Malkavian Primogen.
    Er, not remembering the names of the others at the moment.
    Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 2011-01-25 at 01:16 AM.

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    Default Re: From the Desk of Arch Whitman, Malkavian...

    It also doesn't help that I played the newest Vampire version, so only a few of these names make sense to me. XD
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    Default Re: From the Desk of Arch Whitman, Malkavian...

    Suppose I'd better give you guys another update, then...

    Session Five: The Golden Healer
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    As you no doubt noticed in the log of Session 4, Bill didn't do a heck of a lot at all that time. That's because that was about the time he stopped playing with us. So we took on Leeann's player, and, IIRC, this was the session in which she was introduced.

    The Five-O
    Leeann, a visually-youthful Gangrel girl, is very involved in the workings of a local street gang, seeing as how one of her ghoul retainers is the head of said gang; that's why she's so distressed to find that the police are cracking down specifically on her gang, with some of its members even being investigated by the FBI. While her hotheaded ghoul, AJ, is all to eager to start something, she decides to turn to the vampiric community for help. She seeks out Sin, who makes her a deal: he'll use his contacts to help take the heat off her gang, if she lets him ghoul a few of the lieutenants. Trapped between a rock and a hard place, she takes Sin's deal.

    HE IS ON TO ME.
    Arch is somewhat at a loss for what to do; the Prince was obviously hiding something when he messaged Arch, claiming to not know what the symbol meant. He's also had little progress with finding out more about the dark conspiracy closing in around Alex; see, his sire's a tad hard to get ahold of. It's said that he has a mansion outside the city, but it happens to be in lupine territory, and despite the ST's insistence that vampires kick lycanthrope butt, Arch is not a combat character. Plus, when there's a whole pack of lupines, it becomes another matter entirely. Arch nonetheless manages to arrange a meeting with Alex's sire... at John's house. Since James Steelhaven (the aforementioned sire) is apparently in on the whole "pass Ossa off as a Brujah" plan, he'd also like it if Ossa and Alaire made an appearance.

    From the second Arch laid eyes on him, it was obvious that James was the sort who followed one of the Paths of Enlightenment; in other words, completely detached from his Humanity, embracing an entirely-different code of ethics altogether... but aura perception revealed something was off. Vampires have pale auras, which almost never resemble glowing golden three-eyed angels that fill the entire room with their presence. Without any doubt in his mind, Arch knows this is the guy who'd been doing the "faith healings." Unfortunately, he's also got the whole "dark shadowy conspiracy" bit hanging over his head, visible through Eyes of Chaos.

    Steelhaven does a bit of discussion with Ossa over general Brujah history before talking with Arch about the fate of his childe. Arch explains his visions to Steelhaven, to which James replies that being as powerful an entity as he is, it's all-too-likely that someone means him ill, and that such hostile intentions are simply likely to have negative repurcussions on Alex, unfortunate as that may be. Arch gravely agrees, turns, and warns him to watch his back, just in case.

    "You're not as insane as you act," James says with a smirk.

    Arch freezes in midstep, before slowly turning around. "If you say so, o Golden Healer," he murmurs, and then slips out the door.

    Hey, want to learn Dementation?
    Having solved the mystery of the faith healings (but being unable to do anything about it, since the general concensus is that they are not vampire-related), Arch decides that he might see about earning himself a favor or two. He heads to Elysium and puts out word that he might be willing to tutor others in the use of his clan's Disciplines.

    Surprise, surprise, he is contacted by Arturo, who is very interested in learning Obfuscate. He goes on to say, after a little prodding from Arch, that he would rather learn it from a Lunatic than one of those filthy sewer rats, and hates the idea of owing a favor to the Nosferatu. A good enough excuse, Arch decides to teach him in exchange for a boon to be redeemed at a later date, though they both agree that the teaching will take place after the conclave Friday night.

    Still, something about this definitely doesn't feel right, especially after Arturo's little deal with John. Arch proceeds to send along two messages: one to his own primogen, mentioning the architect's desire for secret business, and one to the Anarchs as an anonymous tip, that there may be prying eyes in their animal house.
    Details of the conclave will be provided in the next session log!
    Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 2011-01-23 at 08:15 AM.

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    Session Six: The Conclave...
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    A brief bit of clarification: because NYC is considered an "active warzone" between the Camarilla and the Sabbat, the prince has made monthly meetings for all the Camarilla vampires absolutely mandatory. Failing to attend often results in a loss of status. The conclave was to be held at none other than Madison Square Garden, which had been reserved for our use that night, the first Friday of the month. In other words, nobody with a pulse is coming in.

    The conclave started at about seven P.M., with Kindred trickling in to hobnob and socialize. Ossa and Alaire were some of the first to show up, Leeann about ten minutes later, and Arch about ten minutes after that, strangely dressed as a bike messenger. At around eight o'clock, "refreshments" were made available. As Alaire waited for his glass of junkie blood (his particular poison of choice), Arch smirked and slurped through his silly-straw. Looks like a good night for some rumor-mongering...

    "It Will Be Taken Care Of..."
    We were expected to get to our seats before 9:00, when the meeting would actually be held. Neonates like Leeann and Arch were expected to sit in the nosebleeds; of course, since Alaire was "with" Ossa, he got a nice cozy seat near the front, which did not escape the notice of a gaggle of neonates. At a set of tables arranged in a horseshoe shape, the city's leaders took their seats: Prince Donald in the center, with the Ventrue, Brujah, Toreador, Tremere, Malkavian, Nosferatu, and Assamite primogen seated on the right, and the Seneschal, Sheriff, Keeper of Elysium, Lead Harpy, Herald, and Independant Chancellor seated on the left. Pay attention, there'll be a test on that later, guys.

    McCallis bangs the gavel. Bang! First and foremost, the minutes of last month's meeting were read off, to everyone's excitement. Following that, we moved on to current and unresolved issues, at which point the Sheriff stood to address the mysterious healings that had been occurring. "We've conducted an investigation," he says, "but at this time, we have no leads." He goes on to say that the investigation has ascertained that there was no vampiric involvement whatsoever.

    Donald suggests that investigating it is still a matter for Kindred, in the interest of preserving the Masquerade. Following that, the Sheriff brought up the little "water treatment plant incident" in Newark. The assembled Kindred listen as he disseminates the information, at which point Prince McCallis assures us that the situation will be "taken care of."

    Following that, Archon Theo Bell took the stage to deliver the war report, going over highlights of the Seige of Atlanta and the progress the Camarilla is having in Washington DC. He wraps up on the note that his Justicar, Yaroslav Passek (forgive my spelling), will be paying New York City a visit for next month's conclave, news that Donald was visibly surprised by. McCallis turns to the Keeper of Elysium, with his gaudy shirt and comically-oversized sunglasses, and said, "Make sure he has a nice time while he's here."

    Midnight Break...
    At 12:00, we were permitted to take a short break, to allow for discussion of the news, more hobnobbing, making phone calls, et cetera. Ossa, instead of hanging out with the city's other elders, decides to mill about with the commoners, which draws him quite a large tail of followers, who are just all-too-eager to hear his opinion on every little thing. Alaire, being fairly possessive, takes measures to act as his mouthpiece (Ossa's player didn't do a lot of talking at this point; heck, Ossa's player still doesn't...) to the mewling neonates.

    Following that, Alaire notices Leeann, who is milling about the area fairly aimlessly, and decides to intentionally bump into the poor Gangrel and be entirely unapologetic about it. However, Leeann takes it in stride, using the opportunity to introduce herself to the fabulous couple.

    How do I know this? Because Arch was just a short distance away. He'd done the aforementioned bit of rumor-milling initially ("Have you been to one of the hospitals where the so-called miracles happening?"), taking care not to say anything too dangerous, though when he saw Ossa and Alaire, he stopped to watch the fun. And, since he hadn't yet met Leeann properly, he decided it was time to introduce himself as well. And deciding to show off a bit, he pumped his Dex first.

    Hey, weird first impressions are the best first impressions. Get 'em thinking you're crazy from the start, and they'll never look back. Arch makes sure to mention that he's not unwilling to conduct in the business of favors, which interests her... see, she was curious about learning Auspex. "We'll work out a payment for it later," Arch says with a smile, pressing a folded piece of paper with the address of a library into her hand. Said library just happened to be where Arch had arranged to meet with Arturo to teach him Obfuscate the night after the conclave. Funny, that.

    Taking Care of Business...
    Everyone trickles back into their seats, and McCallis bangs the gavel once more. On to new business, then. Calling out the blood-hunts is first on the agenda, with three more Kindred added to the list. Following that was the declarations of domain. The Prince eyes Ossa as he recognizes the Caitiff (err, "Brujah!") elder as worthy of laying claim to Newark to drive out the Sabbat. Ossa stands and claimx Praxis, with Sin seconding the motion. No one dared oppose said motion with Sin backing him up.

    More declarations of domain were made, with the level of background chatter raising just a little each time. We break again after that, but Ossa doesn't get the chance to mingle amongst the neonates this time; he is pulled into a private chat with Arturo, who eagerly suggests that he would be all-too-happy to design a secure haven for Ossa in Newark in the near future.

    Oh, one last thing: status and prestation boons! The publically-owed boons are listed one-by-one, ranging from little debts owed from one vampire to another to even a life-debt or two. Most surprising of all, though, is when the Prince announces that one of the city's Kindred is to be commended for his insight. That Kindred is... Arch Whitman?

    Following that little surprise, it was time for everybody to head out, so we could beat feet and make it to our havens before the sunlight made toast of us.
    That was the session, guys; questions, comments?
    Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 2011-01-23 at 08:16 AM. Reason: Bwahaha!

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    Default Re: From the Desk of Arch Whitman, Malkavian...

    Movin' right along...

    Session Seven: The Prank
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    Well, with Ossa having been graced by the Prince with the responsibility of takiing back Newark from the Sabbat, it's time for some progress, right? Right? Arch sends him a congratulatory little card, making mention on it that if they desire any assistance, Arch would be all too happy to help. Ossa withdraws some money, heads to Newark, and rents himself a room at a four-star hotel for the next month or so.

    It's not long before he and Alaire (and their ghoul butler) get settled in before there's a knock at the door. "Room service?" Alaire and Ossa share a confused look as their butler answers the door. Sure enough, there's a room service guy on the other side, and when the butler tries to convince him they hadn't ordered any, he looks him in the eye and says, "Start eating."

    Butler starts chowing down on the food while the room service man closes the door and then breaks his Obfuscate effect, revealing himself to be the Nosferatu primogen, come into town to make Ossa a deal. He can provide them a little spy network, if Ossa would allow him to move some sewer rats into his newfound domain. Not seeing any reason not to, Ossa accepts, and the primogen leaves.

    What do Ossa and Alaire do after that? They enjoy each others' company, for the rest of the night.

    Training Montage...
    So, during this time, Arturo shows up at the library, ready for Arch to teach him in the art of disappearing. Arch starts teaching him the basics, showing him how to dim himself with Obfuscate, when Leeann shows up for her own training in Auspex.

    "There are twenty-two people hidden in this library," Arch says to the Gangrel with an amused smirk. "Find them."

    Needless to say, they both receive their Discipline training. Once Leeann finds Arturo, Arch takes the opportunity to learn the art of telepathy from Arturo. He also has a little chat with Leeann about possible strategies Ossa might utilize against the Sabbat; for instance, arranging it so people are less-inclined to go out at night through measures like stricter curfew laws. Leeann discusses with him the possibility of learning Auspex 2 from him, and he agrees to teach her, perhaps tomorrow night, or the next.

    The following night, going back to Ossa and Alaire in their hotel room... now with the knowledge of an upcoming spy network in their domain, what is this ancient vampire going to do in his ongoing mission to purge the city of Sabbat?

    "Spend some more time" with his boyfriend, of course.

    Meanwhile, Arch decides to infiltrate Newark himself and see what he can learn about the city, and maybe work toward earning himself some police contacts there. With the power of telepathy to aid him, Arch finds out that prior to the "incident" at the water treatment plant, a number of homeless, prostitutes, and such had gone missing, but that since then, the number has been reduced drastically. In fact, with almost a whole night of searching, he fails to find any evidence of vampiric presence.

    Next night! What's happening with Ossa and Alaire? Three guesses.

    Arch, on the other hand, noting that Ossa has yet to contact him, has another talk with Leeann. Upon learning of her gang contacts, Arch off-handedly mentions how she could use that influence to help discourage the kine in Newark from going out at night, a statement she completely misinterprets...

    Paying a Visit...
    By "misinterprets," I mean she gets a car or two full of gangers and performs a couple of drive-bys in Newark. Yeah. Suppose that'd work, though.

    Meanwhile, Ossa and Alaire finally decide to give those neonates that'd been kissing up to Ossa at the conclave a call, you know, see if they'll agree to go on a suicide mission to drive out the Sabbat. Needless to say, they were less-than-enthused.

    When they return, they discover that their door is open, and their butler is lying on the bed, thoroughly duct-taped, and a quartet of Kindred are watching the TV. Another vampire addresses them, asking Ossa just what the heck he thinks he's doing in Newark.

    This guy turns out to be an Anarch, who is very upset that the Prince just sent Ossa in with no warning to any Anarchs in the area, without so much as a word as to why he's there... and for some reason, Alaire and Ossa don't feel like sharing their mission with him, making this Anarch more and more irritated with him. "I was given domain here!" replies Ossa.

    "Wonderful job you're doing," says the Anarch sarcastically, flipping the channel to the news, where they were just talking about the drive-bys that Leeann's gang had undertaken.

    Finally, after another thirty minutes of circular arguing with this Anarch, Ossa and Alaire finally decide to tell him just why they were there, revealing their orders to remove the Sabbat problem. "We haven't seen any Sabbat activity," says the Anarch, "do you have any proof?"

    That's when Arch gets a call from Alaire. He insists that it's urgent that Arch come to their hotel room right away, and to bring evidence of our fight with the Sabbat. Doesn't explain any more than that, either. Good thing I took a couple of pictures with my phone during the little "incident." So Arch, believing that we're finally going to get started, heads over to their hotel room.

    Was disappointed to find out that they'd just been having a little territorial dispute with the Anarchs. Still showed them the proof, the pictures of people going insane and the blood-winged horror that was the Tzimisce. "Oh," the Anarch says, "I guess there are Sabbat." Alaire and I notice as they leave that the guy didn't cast a reflection...

    I spend a little more time gathering information around the city, and then make my way back to NYC, disappointed at their lack of progress, but also noting how Leeann had chosen to interpret my "suggestions."

    "Sure, Give It Another Go..."
    Well, the next night, Leeann reports back to Arch with a "progress report" of her own. Rather than point out that he had meant something more along the lines of graffiti or stealing stop signs, Arch simply nods and suggests that perhaps she tone it down a little bit next time.

    So, still convinced she's helping Ossa, Leeann and AJ go back into Newark, only this time her gangers go around harassing people instead of filling them with lead. Nonetheless, she gets into a bit of trouble when one of the people, not wanting to be roughed up by some street toughs, shoots a ganger dead. AJ tries to retaliate, only to take a shot himself, before Leeann can drive him away from it. She gets AJ away from the guy with the gun, but eventually gets caught by the police. Poor Leeann gets caught in the crossfire, literally, but instead of playing dead, the petite Gangrel, after taking multiple shots, picks up her injured 250-pound ghoul and sprints off with him in her arms.

    Needless to say, that's a bit of a breach of the Masquerade. Still, she gets away, gets back to her haven safely, and begins seeing to AJ.

    Oh, and Alaire and Ossa spent more time "with" each other. Of course.

    "In Trouble? That's an Understatement..."
    The next night, Leeann is at her haven when Sin and Alexander show up. Sin, positively-fuming at Leeann, pops in a DVD for her to peruse. She sees dashboard cam footage, traffic cam fotage, and cell phone pictures of her being unharmed by numerous gunshots, draping an injured ghoul over her shoulders, and sprinting off with him at full speed. "You can thank myself and the Nosferatu for covering this up," he says. "I'm not even going to tell the Prince about this little snafu, because I know what he'd do."

    Her insistance that her actions were taken under the advisement of a Malkavian did not pacify his anger.

    However, since it was Ossa who has domain over Newark, that's who Sin is going to take her to see. Alexander drives them to the hotel, Sin making sure the silence during their trip is as awkward as possible for Leeann. Sin takes her up to the hotel room, stands her in front of the door, and tells her, "Don't you move from this spot. You can't run fast enough." He walks in on Ossa and Alaire, who are in the middle of some very heated coupling, and gives them the opportunity to get dressed before speaking. He informs them that there's been a little incident that needs Ossa's attention, and pops in the DVD for them.

    After they see it, he brings in the Gangrel redhead by the scruff of her neck, and leaves them to deal with her as he walks out.

    Needless to say, it's not long before Arch is mentioned, and Alaire gives him a call, going over the bullet points of it with him on the phone.

    "...And she tells me this was your plan," said Alaire.

    "Ah, yes, my plan. See, the Prince graciously appointed an elder with the responsibility of wiping out the Sabbat. I was shocked to find that said elder wasn't taking his mission seriously, so my plan was to get him to take some initiative and do his job," Arch replied, before hanging up.

    Everybody at the table laughed for a minute after that, and I got an experience point for my successful Malkavian prank.

    Following that, Ossa orders Leeann to summon her ghoul, so that they can have a little talk. Leeann calls AJ and persuades him to come to the hotel, where he has a little discussion with Ossa about how his stupidity almost breached the Masquerade. After some heated arguing, AJ, confused and angry, draws his pistol, only to get punched into the wall by Ossa, which kills him.
    And yes, I know this was a bit jerkish of me to manipulate Leeann like that. Trust me, I make it up to her later.
    Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 2011-01-31 at 05:45 PM.

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    Default Re: From the Desk of Arch Whitman, Malkavian...

    So are Ossa and Alair's players not into the game much or are they too into the game?
    Last edited by Kaun; 2010-12-26 at 04:19 PM.
    Aside from "have fun", i think the key to GMing is putting your players into situations where they need to make a choice that has no perfect outcome available. They will hate you for it, but they will be back at the table session after session.

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    Default Re: From the Desk of Arch Whitman, Malkavian...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaun View Post
    So, are Ossa and Alair's players not into the game much or are they too into the game?
    Good question.

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    Default Re: From the Desk of Arch Whitman, Malkavian...

    I like this.

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    Default Re: From the Desk of Arch Whitman, Malkavian...

    Bum bum bummmm...

    Wait, so the Gangrel girl breaks the Masquerade to save AJ, and then the next night he gets wall-punched to death? Not only does that make all the trouble they went through pointless, but it is also a rather jerk thing to do!

    Also, go Arch! He's the only one with brains, it seems.
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