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  1. - Top - End - #121
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
    Honestly my single most useful suggestion is put in a "boons payable" and "boons receivable" in whatever little NPC writeup the ST does for their dramatis personae for a setting/story etc. The fact it is isn't on the character sheet I think puts it in an out-of-sight-out-of-mind situation.
    There's a bit of an optional system for prestation and boons in the V20 Companion book. I've never used it in game, so I don't know how helpful it is, but there is a prestation system.

  2. - Top - End - #122
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Ah fair...I missed that...as V20 is mostly a reprint of stuff I already own I generally just used the the source material...

    Have not seen it used but I'm glad they thought of it.

    (Goes to hunt this rule to check quality)

  3. - Top - End - #123
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    Yora's Avatar

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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    I got a general question about one specific idea to start a campaign:

    There's been trouble and some vampire deaths in the city, and the Prince decides to give all seven clans permission to create one new vampire each. Since more clans are supporting him than opposing him, this shifts the balance of power more in his favor while looking perfectly fair and balanced.
    One year later the primogen are called to present the new fledglings they created. After the meeting, the primogen leave and some of the new neonates hang around to talk with others in the same situation as them.
    The players will be playing three or four of these new neonates, with the remaining ones being NPCs that might perhaps show up again later.

    I expect to run a group with mostly new players to the game who don't really know much about the setting. Those players who know a bit more simply had better teaching in their characters' first year, otherwise they were told very little.
    My idea is that the players will geadually realize that there's a power struggle going on at the top and they have been created as expandable pawns to be used and discarded when more experienced vampires get taken out of action or a too valuable to put into real risk. Their role in the campaign is to either make themselves invisible and try to be forgotten by the elders, or make themselves too valuable to be risk needlessly. The goal is to survive and not get stepped on while tbe giants fight among themselves.

    That faces me with two challenges, though:

    Before the PCs meet and are introduced to each other, they each had about a year in which they were trained and taught the basics of being vampires. Depending on the clan, they would have had very different experiences and learned very different things about the city and vampire society. I don't want to run three or four session with only one player I don't really know myself yet. And after character creation, I want to start actually playing right away.
    One option is to write a one page summary for each of the seven starting PCs that quickly sums up how they were turned and then stayed with their master for one year. The downside is that this won't include any specific details about the character's origins and personality.
    The other option would be to spend maybe 15 to 20 minutes with each character in which I narrate the same information and then can incorporate the respective player's input on the fly. But then all four players will already know all the information that all four characters start with. I kind of like the idea of the PCs forming their party over the exchange of that information as they realize theh are all similarly helpless and lost but can benefit greatly from cooperating.
    Which one of these do you think is better for the purpose, or do you have ideas how I could approach this part better?

    Another thing is that I generally believe in being quite open about what the campaign will be like and what it all will be about. Players should know what kind of game they sign up to before they have to chose if they want to sign up. But at the same time, this idea for the campaign start is about the characters being thrown into a world they don't really understand, for reasons nobody is telling them. That should work best if the players don't know what is going on in the introduction.

    When in doubt, I always want to err strongly on the side of caution. This innitial introduction phase will probably last only for three sessions or so at most, and probably be soon forgotten if the campaign ends up with a long run. But I think the odds for getting the campaign to a good pace where it keeps running increases hugely if the players have clear expectations of what they can look forward to.
    If needed be, I am prepared to ditch the whole premise for the introduction and be fully up front about everything. But I also really like the idea and I think it would be cool if I could salvage some of it.
    We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on very tall tower of other dwarves.

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  4. - Top - End - #124
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    such a group of "one year old who have never met" works meta wise but could feel very off forced or unnatural in game if you are not careful so I'd say you should lean into teambuilding and driving the WHY it makes sense to move out from their sires and team up.

    okay my main questions that come up would be to ask the psychology about them going up together from both their and their clan's perspective. Those neonates new to their clan may well be seen as assets by their clan ancilla and elders as much as anything especially if deaths in the local ecosystem have left gaps they want filled and have status, social introductions before the prince and other neonates meet them, feeding rights etc to lure the neonates into cooperation. This is especially true for their direct sires (who would likely be allies of the prince or at least allies of the primogen if the prince gave the right-to-sire to the clan as a whole (which would probably leave the primogen to decide who uses it) instead of to a specific member of each clan the prince likes. I mean if they are meant to be expendable and manipulable you'd think they would want to be kept pretty close...
    and why does everyone want patsies? I mean why doesn't one clan want a patsy, one want a soldier, one what a lure to catch the interest of certain block of vampires, one want a bridge to an allied clan, one to fill in from a fallen member, etc etc? Was their some sort of price or agreement that came with the right-to-sire that made "make a patsy" look like the best option for several clans? Because that could make a good way to link the PC's later on.

    so why be together and why not attach themselves to a clan structure are two things you want to think about. Perhaps the prince is going to allow such neonates to feed (and perhaps one day claim) the territory of a vampire of note who died per-campaign or perhaps a developing area that may grow into something worthwhile later. Is there some sort of detante that would promote the clans giving the neonates some more space to grow together? Will letting them live directly under the prince's rule in part of his domain give them brownie points with said prince somehow? Is this instead a way to escape the more oppressive/demanding sires and strike out on their own (replacing the clan support with coterie support)?

    this will also help develop those neonates that DON'T join this group...the same pressures fell some other way for them. Probably stay close to their sires, or at least clans, or possibly striking out as a second coterie (or even solo perhaps)

    Also ask what the coterie DOES in vampire society or in theory will do. This will also help you guide to a degree the character builds so they have some kind of reason to stick together and quite possibly haven together. Set things up so the character drives push them together at least for a few years...(this also helps keep the PvP backstabbing down)


    as for which version of what you said exactly....I'd do the second one. The specifics help people get a character going. And I'd recommend considering changing the info you give each one. This can give the players slightly different goals or at least views on a potential plot hook and those goals don't have to be opposing (which can provide good bits of early mutual backscratching)....but can also make it very clear early on how their different snippets of knowledge can add up together to be something stronger than they each start with which can be a good early team building exercise.
    Last edited by sktarq; 2021-01-01 at 04:48 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #125
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    fishyfishyfishy's Avatar

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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    You should start a new thread instead of continually hijacking this one. I'm positive snownine would appreciate not having notifications pop up when it's not related to their question(s).
    Last edited by fishyfishyfishy; 2021-01-01 at 11:26 PM.
    Most of my posts are made on my mobile device. Please excuse any errors from auto correct.

  6. - Top - End - #126
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    Yora's Avatar

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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    I don't think we're allowed to make duplicate threads.
    We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on very tall tower of other dwarves.

    Beneath the Leaves of Kaendor - Writing Sword & Sorcery
    Spriggan's Den Heroic Fantasy Roleplaying

  7. - Top - End - #127
    Librarian in the Playground Moderator
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    I don't think we're allowed to make duplicate threads.
    The Mod Ogre: The Duplicate Thread rule is more about having the exact same conversation in two different threads. For example, if I start a conversation about "What to do about Ogres" and no one responds, I cannot start a new thread about "What to do about Ogres" to try and get more attention. Far more common is with news events... Bob starts a thread about "Sean Connery has died!" and Sarah starts a thread about "Sean Connery has died!" and we merge the threads, because there can be only one. At worst, a duplicate thread is a Please Don't, and, TBH, I seldom bother to warn about it unless you're doing something really obvious... like two threads to talk about the same thing.

    In cases like this, where we've had a lot of people chime in on the original question, I tend to regard what's been going on as "Thread Drift", which is fine... the original question has been answered, and we're talking about new and related things to it. If you wanted to start a new thread about your specific campaign ideas, that's fine; it's a different campaign, with different questions. We have omnibus threads (like General Shadowrun Questions) because it makes it easier for people to talk about things in one place; it's not necessary, just convenient. We had a general World of Darkness thread, but it went too long without posts, and none of y'all are Giovanni enough to bring it back from the dead. This thread, if it goes on long enough, may become a new omnibus thread; it's happened before, especially where people start talking about an upcoming computer game, then keep talking about other games and related games... The Elder Scrolls thread is up to #16, and it started as "Who's Excited for Skyrim" back in 2011.

    If snownine doesn't want notifications to pop up, he's free to unsubscribe from the thread (gods know I only subscribe to my Homebrew threads, which no one ever comments on). We do not consider a thread starter to have any special privileges in a thread, except in Homebrew.
    The Cranky Gamer
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  8. - Top - End - #128
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    We had a general World of Darkness thread, but it went too long without posts, and none of y'all are Giovanni enough to bring it back from the dead.
    Well Mr Sheriff, I have no intent to call down a blood hunt from Prince Rich or his officers on my own head thankyou very much.



    Besides it's the idea of how to start a game exactly the description of the name of the thread? Names are important and the essence of the idea encapsulated. And is a good name...unlike Taco Bell...no bells involved. So if anything it seems to be the truth unless you wish to play at being Ankou as well (I don't recommend it he doesn't like competition according to the orphan gravestones) [/Malk]

  9. - Top - End - #129
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Could you make the players coterie the children that the Prince, and the player's sires have deemed most likely to survive past the first year? The Prince puts the various children into temporary coteries on presentation night and send them off with various tasks.
    During the first few months I suspect three Prince will be trying to solidify the new voting lead by looking for any exist to get rid of the new kindred from clans that don't support him. Kindred from supporting cleans on the other hand might find they get punished harshly, but not outright destroyed for relatively minor infractions.
    How does the Prince look on kindred who should be supporting him, but who didn't embrace? Many older vampires might not want a new Childe, especially not one they had to choose and embrace in a year. Younger kindred on the other hand may have jumped on the opportunity and made really has choices giving you plenty of chances for object lessons in what not to do and potential sessions where the players have to clean up the mess of a fellow new embrace.

  10. - Top - End - #130
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    I'd suggest a short session 0 with each player. They get a quick brief on the absolute basic rules of being Kindred, some flavor for their clan, a bit on other clans, and a couple choices to make. Like, the Venture would take their progeny out hunting and test their ability to pull prey. How they do that is a strong first note in how that character acts. A Bruja would have a different interactive bit, and so on. Keep the mechanics light or non-existent, and the sire is right there to prevent any serious bad consequences. This time. That gives them a chance to try and fail or succeed, and talk with their sire afterward.

    Give them enough to avoid being an immediate embarrassment, some half-truths they can compare, and a chance or two to start acting their character.

  11. - Top - End - #131
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    HalflingPirate

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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    I actually had a lot of fun playing VtM, 2nd Edition way back when. It's important to understand that it's supposed to be a horror game. All the original WOD games had a compelling reason why the PCs had to be careful in how they used their powers. For Vamps, it was the Masquerade, for Mages it was Paradox, etc. Vamps who try to do the "katana-superhero" thing are also likely to blow through their Humanity extremely quickly.

    The system definitely isn't crunchy, especially if you are used to running something with 87 splatbooks and a 5 lbs bag of dice. But the simplicity of the system means that as long as everybody at the table is on board with the themes and mood of the story you are looking to tell, it allows you to focus on the characters and the narrative.

    If you want to run V:tM in set in 2020, I think there are two major issues you need to address, both involving the Masquerade. First, the fact that almost every American has a camera in their pocket, combined with the ubiquity of surveillance cameras, mean that 2020 vamps will have to be MUCH more careful about maintaining the Masquerade than their 90's counterparts. Powers that blatantly break the Masquerade will be used much less often, and feeding in a dark alley is almost certainly out.

    The second item deals with the rise of the internet and the proliferation of media. In the 90s, it was plausible that Elder vamps (and, once Mage came out, the Technocracy) exerted enough control of every major media outlet to suppress the evidence when their WAS a breach of the Masquerade. With social media and literally hundreds of different news sites out there, the idea that a massive cover-up can be maintained strains credulity.

    If you don't want to completely stymie your players from using Masquerade-busting powers, I would suggest making Vamp-Truthers a well-known fringe belief, where 10% of the population believes vampires are absolutely real and are obsessed with them in both good and bad ways (some want to wipe then out, others are aspiring fang-bangers, and a few conflicted people are both), while the other 90% of the country thinks they are crazy (think QAnon). Any evidence that surfaces is written off as having been produced by the obsessed wackos.

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